The sentinel lymph nodes are the most likely site of nodal metastasis. Their focused analysis results in upstaging cancers, although the extra yield from a more intensive work-up is generally dominated by micrometastases and isolated tumor cells. Nodal staging is generally done to reflect systemic spread of solid tumors and guide treatment accordingly. However, in general, the two processes of haematogenous and lymphogenic spread are not causally interrelated, and the extrapolation from low-volume nodal involvement to systemic involvement and therapeutic consequences of this extrapolation are still under investigation.
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