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Oct 11, 2021

[Answer] 1. It is surgery day and you arrive very early because some other tests have to be done prior to the breast cancer surgery. What will the nuclear medicine experts, who will perform these tests, check for?

Step 1 : Introduction to the question "1. It is surgery day and you arrive very early because some other tests have to be done prior to the breast cancer surgery. What will the nuclear medicine experts, who will perform these tests, check for? "



...1. Active lymph nodes in the armpit 2. How hard you might kick during surgery 3. Any curvature of the spine 4. Your anger management What the specialists in nuclear medicine must check for are active sentinel lymph nodes in the armpit of the affected side. What they do, to check the lymph nodes, is inject a dye into the nipple area of the affected breast, twice. For me this was excruciating but had to be done so I was a good patient and remained very still. The pain didn't last long so I did get through it. I didn't want them to have to repeat the procedure. They didn't freeze me because that would be painful as well, so I was told that I should try to relax and be still. Right after the injection of dye was completed, to help lighten the mood, I said that they had big mosquitoes in that room. The two technicians laughed. I told them I understood how stressful it must be for them to have to inflict pain like that on their patients. They appreciated being thought of and considered. The sentinel lymph nodes (first nodes in a chain of nodes) may contain cancer cells which have spread from the breast to the lymph nodes. The procedure is called a lymphoscintigrapy (also called scintimammography) which is done by nuclear medicine experts. A blue dye called Tc-99m sestamibi, a radioactive tracer, is injected because this is a very good test for early stage breast cancer. The dye then goes through the body. Since cancerous cells will absorb more of the dye than other tissue does, this test makes it easier to see what is going on inside the breast and the lymph nodes. It is done when breast tissue is quite dense and allows doctors to check the tissue even further. With this dye you may or may not get a metallic taste in your mouth. Once the dye has been injected, you must lie face down with the affected breast hanging down through a hole in the table. During this time you cannot move. This scan can take about an hour. The scan is like a mapping to find which lymph nodes are active and could be at risk for containing cancer cells. Images are taken of the breast as the dye progresses through the system. Estrogen receptor positive and progesterone receptor positive cancer are a good result to get with these tests. What this means is that to survive the cancer depends on the hormones of estrogen and progesterone. Having both readings with positive results increases your survival rate due to the further and particular treatments you become a candidate for.




Step 2 : Answer to the question "1. It is surgery day and you arrive very early because some other tests have to be done prior to the breast cancer surgery. What will the nuclear medicine experts, who will perform these tests, check for? "



Active lymph nodes in the armpit:


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