Objectives: To use data from the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit (BQA) to examine the patterns of completion axillary lymph node dissection (cALND) after sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in women treated for early breast cancer in Australia and New Zealand and to compare it to the Australian and New Zealand guidelines in cases of both positive and negative SLN results. Materials and methods: Patients were sub grouped as having primary tumours ≤3cm and >3cm and further analysed according to year of surgery, SLN status and final nodal status where cALND was recorded. Multivariate analysis was performed examining tumour size, grade, presence of lymphovascular invasion (LVI), HER2 and oestrogen receptor status, patient age and number of positive sentinel nodes as predictors for subsequent axillary surgery. Results: 14879 patients were identified from 2006 to 2010. 79.8% of patients with a positive SLN result underwent cALND. Age >70 years and a greater number of involved SLN predicted no cALND among SLN positive patients. 10.3% of patients who had a negative SLN result underwent cALND. Younger age, higher grade, lymphovascular invasion and tumour size >3cm predicted cALND among SLN negative patients. Conclusions: According to the BQA from 2006 to 2010 the Australian and New Zealand guideline recommendations for SLN positive patients to have cALND and SLN negative patients not to have cALND were adhered to in 79.8% and 89.7% of cases respectively.
- Axillary lymph node dissection
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy