Introduction: The role of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for patients with ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS) is limited given the rarity of nodal metastasis in non-invasive disease. Although SLNB is typically a safe procedure, there are potential complications and associated costs. The purpose of this study is to assess national surgical practice patterns and clinical outcomes with respect to the use of SLNB for DCIS in patients undergoing breast conserving surgery (BCS). Methods: Case-level data from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) was assessed to identify adult patients ≥ 18 with DCIS, who underwent BCS and SLNB. Patient demographics and hospital characteristics were grouped for analytic purposes. A multivariate analysis was performed for patient and hospital characteristics. Results: We identified 15,422 patients with DCIS undergoing BCS in 2015, of which 2,698 (18%) underwent SLNB. A multivariate analysis demonstrated a significant association between greater frequency of SLNB in patients age range of 60–69, receipt of care at a community facility, and higher nuclear grade DCIS. Positive sentinel nodes metastasis was identified in 0.9% patients undergoing BCS and SLNB for DCIS. Conclusion: The role of SLNB in patients with DCIS undergoing BCS is limited and does not routinely provide meaningful information or benefit to clinical management. Despite this, nearly one in five patients undergoing BCS for DCIS had lymph node sampling performed. Given the potential increased morbidity and financial implications, this finding represents an opportunity for further education and improvement in patient selection for SLNB.
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