Feb 27, 2008 07:21PM - edited Feb 27, 2008 07:22PM by leaf
I've never had invasive, so I can't comment from personal experience.
In other medical issues, I've had 5 different specialists disagree with each other, giving opinions 180 degrees apart. It makes it very hard to choose which is the best decision for you.
From what I can read in Dr. Susan Love's book, sentinal node biopsy is most appropriate when the tumor is unicentric, less than 5 centimeters, no previous chemotherapy or radiation, no large resection in the upper outer quadrant (more than 6cm), and no palpable nodes. She recommends asking the surgeon what percentage of the time the surgeon has been able to finde the sentinal node, and says it should be at least 85% (she says in experienced hands its 90-95%.)
From what I understand, the SNB is to save the risk of doing further axillary dissection, and having an increased risk of lymphedema.
I hope others with more experience will correct and add to my comments.
This must be a very hard time for you. Best wishes in coming to a decision for this.