Since axillary lymph node dissection is not routinely done in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ, more and more surgeons are using sentinel lymph node dissection in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ to determine if there is occult microscopic involvement of lymph nodes with breast cancer cells. The following factors may be associated with increased risk of involvement of axillary nodes and hence associated with increased risk of positive sentinel lymph node.
For more information on breast cancer surgery please refer to section on surgical treatment of breast cancer.
- Extensive ductal carcinoma in situ requiring mastectomy
- Suspicion of micro-invasion (could be early stage of an invasive breast cancer)
- Ductal carcinoma in situ associated with a palpable mass
- Evidence of lymphatic invasion as seen in the microscopy