sentinel lymph node
Definition: the first lymph node to receive lymphatic drainage from a malignant tumor; the sentinel nodes are identified as the first to take on a radionuclide or dye injected into the tumor; increasingly used in operations for melanoma and breast cancer; if the sentinel nodes are free of metastasis, more distal nodes are usually also free.
Synonym(s): sentinel gland, sentinel node
See Also: signal lymph node
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