- The management of axillary lymph nodes in breast cancer is rapidly evolving due to recent clinical trials and new surgical techniques.
- The American Society of Breast Surgeons provided highly-researched recommendations to help guide the management of axillary lymph nodes in breast cancer treatment.
- Clinical guidelines can help to improve quality of care and ensure best outcomes.
American Society of Breast Surgeons
Consensus Guideline on the Management of the Axilla in Patients With Invasive/In-Situ Breast Cancer
The American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) has issued a new guideline for the management of the axilla in patients with breast cancer. The clinical practice guideline is the result of an extensive review of the scientific literature and expert input from members of the ASBrS research committee and the society’s Board of Directors.
Management of axillary lymph nodes is an essential aspect of care for patients with breast cancer. In some situations, breast cancer can spread to the lymph nodes located in the axilla (i.e. underarm), typically on the same side as the breast with cancer. Critical information about the stage of breast cancer can be determined from the lymph nodes. Furthermore, proper treatment of the nodes is essential when breast cancer has spread to the axilla.
Recent clinical trials and the emergence of new techniques have led to several advances in the surgical management of axillary lymph nodes. Treatment options and standards-of-care have rapidly evolved, especially in patients whose breast cancer involves the lymph nodes. As a result, there remain many questions about the best approach to managing axillary lymph nodes.
The axillary management guideline is intended to offer practical recommendations and considerations for axillary lymph nodes management in the modern setting of breast cancer treatment. In addition to more routine applications, the document also addresses special circumstances, including lymph node management following chemotherapy, the role of radiation therapy, and axillary management in pregnant patients with breast cancer. The complete guideline can be found here: https://www.breastsurgeons.org/docs/statements/Consensus-Guideline-on-the-Management-of-the-Axilla.pdf?v2.
The ASBrS is committed to continually improving the practice of breast surgery by promoting education, research, and the development of advanced surgical techniques. Clinical practice guidelines help to improve the quality of patient care and produce better patient outcomes.