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Jason P. Wilson, David Mattson, and Stephen B. Edge

The involvement of axillary nodes remains a significant prognostic factor in breast cancer. However, management has changed from complete surgical staging to sentinel lymph node biopsies. Although little controversy exists regarding patients with negative sentinel lymph node biopsies, some remains regarding what to do with patients with small volume of axillary disease. This article focuses on the examination of recent evidence in management of the axilla. It focuses on both the prognostic and therapeutic information gleaned from isolated tumor cells and micrometastatic disease and on the use of completion axillary lymph node dissections or axillary radiation in preventing regional recurrence.