Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: MedlinePlus Medical Test

What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy?

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a test that checks lymph nodes for cancer cells. Lymph nodes are element of the lymphatic method, a community of organs and vessels that aid the human body fight bacterial infections and other disorders. Lymph nodes are situated all over the human body, which includes the underarms, neck, chest, stomach, and groin.

Certain cancers, this sort of as breast cancer and melanoma (the most unsafe type of skin cancer), can unfold as a result of the lymphatic method. Cancers unfold when cells crack off from the primary tumor and are carried to other components of the human body. The sentinel lymph node is the very first node where by these styles of cancers are most likely to unfold. The node is ordinarily situated in the vicinity of the web-site of the primary tumor. Sometimes there is far more than a single sentinel lymph node.

A sentinel lymph node biopsy can demonstrate how likely it is that your cancer is spreading (metastasizing).

Other names: lymph node biopsy, sentinel node biopsy, sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy