In our previous discussions, we talked about the approach to the breast, in breast cancer. We talked about the armpit, that is, the axilla.
Now, I want to explain the axilla a little further, and here is why: We know that breast cancer most often spreads to the axilla, that’s clear. But large dissections were used in the axilla before. It was later shown that by administering a special radioactive material, iron oxide, or a specially dyed substance to the breast, retention by the lymph nodes in the armpit can be detected. Therefore, sentinel lymph node biopsy has come to the fore. We take a few samples from there and give them to the pathologist during surgery. The pathologist evaluates, as soon as he indicates that there is nothing under the armpit, there is no need for more invasive surgery that can lead to future disability. This method advanced so much that today we give some chemotherapy agents to patients who we know had armpit involvement before and just look at the result. As a result, the previously positive armpit can become completely negative. So, cancer may disappear completely. As such, the whole procedure on a patient who may have previously required a major surgery or treatment may end with just one sampling. Therefore, advances in the treatment of breast cancer can offer early diagnosis, minimum treatment, and the best quality of life.
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