management of axillary disease

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The management of axillary nodal disease in breast cancer can vary from no treatment to complete clearance of all axillary nodes. Clearance has the following aims:

  • improves staging, so giving a better indication of prognosis
  • indicates need for adjuvant therapy with either/or:
    • irradiation
    • chemotherapy
    • hormonal therapy
  • control local disease in axilla

However, even complete axillary clearance has no effect on survival.

Some approaches to the managment of axillary nodes are detailed in the submenu:

  • leave nodes alone
  • axillary node sampling
  • complete axillary clearance

Last reviewed 01/2018