Sentinel Lymph Nodes

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Tom Mc Nemar at Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark, Ohio asks:

<< I'm not so much concerned about the nodes themselves as I am about the 
larger mastectomy specimens. The guidelines I have say that they should be 
tested for radiation prior to handling or placed behind a lead shield for 2.5 
days before handling. If this is true, what about handling in surgery or 
during transportation to the lab? Does anyone take any further precautions 
with the larger specimens? >>

Pray tell, what are "the guidelines"? Is this some scripture I'm not aware 

And why do a sentinel node biopsy if you're going to do a mastectomy?

I'm distressed by several comments that people didn't know that they were 
handling radioactive material. I've encountered this situation in my travels 
also. Although the amount of radioactive material involved may be negigible, 
I think it's perhaps "good management" but certainly unethical not to inform 
people that they're handling radioactive material. Could your pathologists 
possibly be that ignorant?

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist, not glowing in the dark yet
Knoxville TN

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