Although numerous studies have demonstrated that sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy can accurately determine the axillary nodal status for early breast cancer some studies have suggested that SLN biopsy may be less reliable for tumors >2 cm in size. This analysis was performed to determine whether tumor size affects the accuracy of SLN biopsy. The University of Louisville Breast Cancer Sentinel Lymph Node Study is a prospective multi-institutional study involving 226 surgeons. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of each institution, and informed consent was obtained from all patients. Patients with clinical stage T1-2 N0 breast cancer were eligible for the study. Some patients with T3 tumors were included because they were clinically staged as T2 but on final pathology were found to have tumors >5 cm. This analysis includes 2148 patients who were enrolled from August 1997 through October 2000. All patients underwent SLN biopsy using a combination of radioactive colloid and blue dye injection followed by completion Level I/II axillary dissection. Statistical comparison was performed by chi-square analysis. The SLN identification rate, false negative rate, and overall accuracy of SLN biopsy were not significantly different among tumor stages T1, T2, and T3. We conclude that SLN biopsy is no less accurate for T2-3 breast cancers compared with T1 tumors.
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|Published - 2001