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Ultrasound can predict tumor burden and survival in melanoma patients
Date:9/23/2009

prognosis and treatment of melanoma patients. Doctors usually cut out one or two key lymph nodes, called sentinel nodes, and use these as an indicator of whether or not the cancer has spread to the other lymph nodes. If the sentinel node is free of cancer, patients don't need to have more extensive lymph node removal. However, only 20% of patients who have a sentinel node biopsy have cancer that has spread there, and so the operation, which can be accompanied by side effects such as chronic swelling and seroma, is unnecessary for 80% of patients. Using ultrasound first to detect the presence or not of sentinel node metastases could be a non-invasive way of limiting the numbers of patients who require subsequent surgery or simply watchful follow-up care.


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