Sentinel lymph node (SLN) localization and biopsy represent one of the most important recent developments in surgery, which has been reflected in important changes in the management of patients affected by early infiltrating breast carcinoma. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) was first applied in melanoma patients by Morton and colleagues (Morton et al. 1992). Subsequently, the technique was proposed as a method of disease staging in breast cancer patients (Giuliano et al. 1997), so that less aggressive surgical treatment would less compromise the patient's quality of life. In fact, removal of axillary nodes in the presence of breast cancer is performed for staging and not with curative intent (Fisher et al. 2002), and axillary dissection (AD) is burdened by a significant rate of immediate and delayed possible complications such as lymphedema, paresthesia, pain and restriction of arm motion (Shaw and Rumball 1990; Kissin et al. 1986). In this context, SLNB has been proposed as an alternative to routine axillary clearance for nodal status determination.
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