JFR Robertson, PJJ Herrod, J Matthew, LS Kilburn, CE Coles, I Bradbury
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol
Invasive breast cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide. It is known to metastasise to the regional axillary lymph nodes but there has been debate over what is the best way to stage and treat the axilla in patients presenting with primary breast cancer. Multiple trials over the last two decades have led to a change in practice from routine axillary lymph node dissection to sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients who are clinically lymph node negative preoperatively. This has resulted in new questions regarding subsequent treatment of some patients. This review will critically appraise the evidence on axillary treatment in patients with low burden axillary disease and highlight limitations of relevant randomised controlled trials.