, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1155-1158
Date: 22 Mar 2011

Implementing Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Programs in Developing Countries: Challenges and Opportunities

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Not all malignancies in developing countries present at an advanced stage. In countries with unique economic maps and heterogeneous populations the spectrum of presentation is the same as that seen in developed countries. Globally, there has been a paradigm shift in the management of cancers: treatment has become more patient specific and tumor specific. It is therefore incumbent on surgeons, including those in developing countries, to be familiar with the vagaries of surgical practices in the treatment of malignancies.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is a technique used worldwide to detect lymphatic spread from a variety of tumors. In the treatment of breast cancer, SLNB is the standard of care in clinically node-negative breast cancer and the preferred staging procedure. The largest and most important trial of SLNB for melanoma conducted to date has also firmly established the concept of SLNB. Results support SLNB as a standard of care staging procedure in patients with