Lymphatic Drainage Patterns of the Breast
When considering the chance of a false negative sentinel lymph node biopsy, it is important to understand the lymphatic drainage patterns of the breast.
For breast cancers in the upper outer quadrant of the breast that are palpable (with no previous history of breast surgery), one researcher has found that 97.7% drained into the axilla, whereas lesions in the upper outer quadrant that were nonpalpable drained into the axilla in 89.2% of cases.
This suggests that the false negative rate for sentinel lymph node biopsy for non palpable lesions in the upper outer quadrant might be higher.
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