This is surgery to find and take out the sentinel lymph node. This node is the very first lymph node that is reached by lymph fluid from the site of a breast cancer. Cancer cells sometimes break away from the main cancer and travel through the lymph system. If this happens, this node is more likely than other lymph nodes to filter out and trap these cells. To find out if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in women with early breast cancer, doctors take out just this lymph node. This has been found to work just as well as taking out many lymph nodes.
Read more about sentinel lymph node dissection.
Audio contributed by: Courteney Cox