Aims: To report the long-term results of sentinel node negative breast cancer patients treated without axillary lymph node dissection and the 5-year follow-up results of 149 patients. Methods: The incidence of axillary-and local recurrences and second ipsilateral primary tumours was evaluated. The added value of annual ultrasound of the treated axilla, being part of the standard follow-up, was also evaluated. Results: After a mean follow-up of 65 months (50-79) axillary recurrences were observed in four patients, local recurrences or ipsilateral second primary tumours were diagnosed in another seven patients. All axillary recurrences were diagnosed because of a palpable axillary mass; ultrasound in combination with fine needle aspiration cytology did not have an added value. Conclusion: It can be concluded that the incidence of axillary recurrences after negative SN is much lower than expected. There is no added value of US and FNAC of the axilla in the routine follow-up of SN negative patients.

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Keywords Breast cancer, Follow-up, Recurrence, Sentinel node, Ultrasound
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Journal European Journal of Surgical Oncology
de Kanter, A.Y, Menke-Pluymers, M.M, Wouters, M.W.J.M, Burgmans, I, van Geel, A.N, & Eggermont, A.M.M. (2006). 5-Year follow-up of sentinel node negative breast cancer patients. European Journal of Surgical Oncology, 32(3), 282–286. doi:10.1016/j.ejso.2005.11.014