Underarm lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are structures that trap harmful cells such as germs and cancer cells. lymph nodes; They are located in the neck, armpits, groin, chest cavity and abdomen. In cancer surgeries, in addition to the tumor, the lymph nodes to which the tumor is usually attached are also cleaned. This determines the potential for cancer to spread. In breast cancer, these are the axillary lymph nodes. However, armpit surgery; There may be side effects such as numbness in the arm, numbness, swelling in the arm, infection, inflammation in the arm veins, nerve and vascular damage.

Breast cancer generally spreads through lymph channels to the armpit lymph nodes. The aim of this surgery is to remove the tumor cells that have spread here by taking the lymph nodes.

Breast surgery and armpit surgery have been considered as a single operation for many years, since it can be done through the same breast incision in mastectomy (removal of the breast) surgery and the tissue is removed without interruption. In fact, cleaning the armpit is a separate operation. Especially with breast-conserving surgery, this distinction has become more evident. In breast-conserving surgery, the armpit is usually reached through a separate incision.

Not all lymph nodes, called three levels, are removed today. Generally, the first 2 levels are removed and are mostly sufficient for disease grading. Since the lymphatic channel flow from the arm is cut off after complete cleansing, 10% of the patients experience arm swelling. From time to time, this swelling can affect life extremely negatively. Even prolonged swelling itself can rarely predispose to cancer.

Cleaning this area is not only effective in preventing the disease but also in grading. The extent of the cancer’s progression potential is determined by the number of diseased lymph nodes removed. Next drug and radiation therapy is planned. In other words, this region is actually a kind of speed indicator of cancer. Removing the speedometer of a speeding vehicle does not change the speed of the vehicle. For this reason, the guard lymph node application has started.

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