Background: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is rapidly becoming the standard of care in the treatment of women with early stage breast cancer. Male breast cancer although relatively rare, has typically been treated with mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Men who develop breast carcinoma have the same risk as their female counterparts of developing the morbidities associated with axillary dissection. SLNB has been championed as a procedure aimed at preventing those morbidities. We recently have evaluated the role of SLNB in the treatment of men with early stage breast cancer. Methods: Among the 18 men treated at the University of Michigan Medical Center for breast cancer from May 1998 to November 2002, 6 were treated with SLNB. Results: The mean tumor size was 1.6 cm. The mean patient age was 59.8 years. All of the patients had one or more sentinel lymph nodes identified. Two of the six did not have confirmatory axillary dissection. Three of the six had positive sentinel lymph nodes (50%). Only one of the three patients with a positive sentinel node had more nodes positive. One of the six patients had a positive node on frozen section and underwent immediate complete axillary dissection. This patient had no additional positive nodes. No patients in our series had immunohistochemical studies of the lymph nodes. Conclusions: Men with early stage breast carcinoma may be offered the management option of SLNB since in the hands of experienced surgeons it has a success rate apparently equal to that in their female counterparts.
- Axillary lymph node dissection (ALND)
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Estrogen receptor (ER)
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)
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