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37

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Breast Cancer – Locally Advanced (STAGE III)

Version 1.2017

4

Surgery

Overview

It is also called a simple mastectomy. This surgery

removes the whole breast but no chest muscle.

Sometimes the breast skin can be spared. Read the

section,

Breast reconstruction

, for more information.

Lymph node surgery

During the breast surgery, nearby lymph nodes will

be removed. Lymph nodes with cancer or that may

have cancer will be removed. All removed nodes will

be tested for cancer. This allows the cancer stage to

be revised if needed. You are more likely to receive

the best treatment when the cancer stage is correct.

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a surgery that finds

and removes the lymph nodes to which breast

cancer first spreads.

See Figure 12

. These nodes

are called sentinel nodes. Often 2 or 3 nodes are

removed. This surgery is also called a sentinel lymph

node dissection.

An axillary lymph node dissection removes more

than a few lymph nodes. At least 10 lymph nodes

are removed from Level I and II areas. Level I lymph

nodes are in the armpit. Level II nodes are higher

and deeper in the armpit. If cancer is found in Level II

lymph nodes, nodes from Level III may be removed.

Level III nodes are below the collarbone. They are

also called infraclavicular lymph nodes.

Figure 12

Lymph node surgery

There are also two types of

surgeries to remove lymph

nodes. A sentinel lymph node

biopsy finds and removes the

lymph nodes to which breast

cancer first spreads. An axillary

lymph node dissection removes

at least 10 lymph nodes from

Level I and II areas.

Level I

Level II

Level III

sentinal nodes

Sentinel lymph node biopsy

Axillary lymph node dissection

Copyright © 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network

®

(NCCN

®

).

www.nccn.org