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Melanoma Surgery Gets Broader Scope

Posted: September 29, 2006

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In sentinel lymph node biopsy, doctors surgically check the sentinel lymph node or nodes for signs of cancer.

If the biopsy shows cancer in the sentinel node or nodes, that means cancer has spread beyond its original location and would be more likely to be in the other lymph nodes in the area. Sentinel node biopsies are also used with other types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Sentinel Node Study

The new study comes from researchers including Donald Morton, MD, of the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif.

Morton's team studied 1,269 people who had surgery to remove isolated skin melanomas of medium thickness.