Mitzi’s delayed SLNB journey and how she avoided lymph node surgery
At the end of 2021, Mitzi was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or Stage 0 breast cancer. Not knowing what options she had available, she began investigating the best course of treatment.
Exploring treatment options
The standard of care for patients with DCIS who undergo a mastectomy is to perform a sentinel lymph node procedure, or removal of selected lymph nodes, in case an invasive cancer was discovered at the time of surgery. Otherwise, these patients might need another surgical procedure to remove all the axillary lymph nodes which presents more potential risk.
Mitzi wanted to know her options. Her research resulted in her getting in touch with Dr Valerie Brutus at St. Vincent's Medical Centre in Bridgeport, who offered up Magtrace® as an alternative to the current standard practice.
Injected at the time of mastectomy, by using Magtrace, the sentinel lymph node biopsy does not need to be performed at the same time. As Magtrace stays in the lymphatics for weeks at a time, a sentinel lymph node procedure can be performed after the mastectomy once final pathology is available and it is clear that further surgery is needed.
Magtrace allows us to perform the mastectomy, wait for the pathology and then go back to remove the lymph nodes at a later date if necessaryValerie Brutus, MD
Fortunately for Mitzi, once final pathology came back it revealed that her cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes and she was able to avoid having unnecessary surgery on her lymph nodes.
“Any time we don't need to perform a procedure, the patient does not need to recover from that procedure. This will have a great impact on patient care.”Valerie Brutus, MD
Mitzi is now cancer free and is looking forward to her future plans of travelling with her husband Ron.
→ Read Mitzi's full story here.
→Find out more about ‘delayed’ sentinel lymph node biopsy and our ‘SaveOurNodes’ campaign.