Expert Answers

JoseEstebanMDPhD (Physician - Pathology (Verified) ) - 05 / 10 / 2012

During surgery the sentinel lymph nodes are evaluated microscopically using the frozen section technique. The stained lymph node tissue glass slides are observed under the microscope and if there are tumor cells present, the lymph node is said to be positive for metastasis (the tumor cells have spread into the lymph nodes). Tumor cells are different than the cells that compose the lymph nodes (mostly lymphocytes). By recognizing the different morphology (size, shape, chromatin pattern, etc) of the various cells the pathologist is able to establish whether the tumor has metastasized to the nodes. However, the cell morphology in some breast tumors (i.e.: lobular carcinomas) can be similar to that of the lymphocytes. Additionally, the cells can be isolated among hundreds of lymphocytes making very difficult to recognize them. In those cases a histologic technique called Immunohistochemistry highlights tumor cells by staining specifically the epithelial cells and not the lymphocytes.
Join Now to ask a follow-up question or share your experience!
We'll help guide and support you through treatments.
Similar Questions
How do you discover and diagnose metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the bones?
Are treatments for metastatic breast cancer different depending on where the cancer has spread?
For metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the brain, what factors determine if surgery is recommended to remove the cancer in the brain?
What are the treatment options when metastatic breast cancer has spread to the liver?
When metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the brain, what are the next steps?
Note: All content on this site is informational and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding your health.
Note: Usernames have been made anonymous and profile images are not shown to protect the privacy of our members.
Flag Content
Please explain why you are flagging this content. Thank you.
Thank you for flagging this content. We will look into it right away.
Give a 'Thank you' to
Talk About Health
Add Answer

1) Question:
2) Background Info (optional): What context or background information is relevant to this request?
The more clear and thorough your request, the more likely you will receive support.
Many of our members are learning from this information or english might not be their first language. Please use standard english and spell out all words. For example, use 'you' instead of 'u'.
Talk About Health
Please join TalkAboutHealth and you will be able to ask questions.
Subscribe to our free updates for the latest news, best answers and featured experts!
Your Email:
Q&A Workshop Announcements
(Featured experts, answers, tips, & latest news.)
Q&A Workshop Summaries
(Answer summaries from our expert Q&A workshops.)
Best of TalkAboutHealth (weekly)
(The week's best answers, news & support.)
TalkAboutHealth Benefits
(Custom health, wellness & medical promotions from our partners.)

Partners become a partner

© Copyright 2018 - Talk About Health - Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
x Don't show again
Like us on Facebook?