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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Yale: Study Indicates Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Has No Benefits for Stage Zero Breast Cancer

Older women with a very early, non-invasive breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) gain no long-term benefit from undergoing a sentinel lymph node biopsy to see if the cancer has spread, new research by the Yale School of Public Health has found.

The study, believed to be the first to examine the long-term impact of sentinel lymph node biopsies on thousands of older women, found that the procedure:

However, the researchers found that the procedure increased the patient’s risk for side-effects associated with the biopsy, which include pain, wound infection, and lymphedema, a painful condition that can restrict a woman’s arm movements.

The findings are important because between 17 percent and 40 percent of women with DCIS currently undergo sentinel lymph node biopsies, even though experts do not recommend the procedure for DCIS patients, explains Dr. Shi-Yi Wang, a Yale School of Public Health associate professor and the study’s lead author.

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