At present, sentinel lymph node biopsy is a standard procedure to assess the advancement of breast cancer and cutaneous melanoma.
The aim of the study was to assess the role of the sentinel lymph node biopsy in the treatment of patients with breast cancer in our own material.
Material and methods. Analyzed was medical documentation of 258 patients with initially operable breast cancer, qualified for operation with sentinel lymph node biopsy in 2004-2014 in the Department of Surgery of the 4th Military Teaching Hospital. A few hours prior to the planned surgery, radioisotope (technitium-99 sulfur colloid) was applied in the area of tumor or under the areola. 1-2 hours after administering the tracer, the lymphoscintigraphy with the labelling of the sentinel lymph node on the skin was performed.
Results. On the basis of the gathered material, obtained were the following parameters: sensitivity - 100%, and specificity - 94.6%. Four cases were false negative (5.5%).
Conclusions. 1. Marking the sentinel lymph node in breast cancer, based on the single visualisation method with the use of radioisotope, is a useful and effective technique. 2. The factor influencing the results of the sentinel lymph node biopsy (true positive and negative results and false negative result) was the number of the excised lymph nodes except for the sentinel lymph node. 3. Patients with estrogen receptor expression had often metastases to sentinel lymph node (145 cases - 56%). 4. The false negative rate, i.e. 5.5% in our material, is within the limits of acceptability given in the literature. 5. The sentinel lymph node biopsy performed by the experienced surgical team is a reliable diagnostic tool with a low complication rate.