Description of Medical ServiceSentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNBx) is a procedure that is performed increasingly in Australia for patients with intermediate thickness melanoma, to determine if melanoma cells have spread to the sentinel lymph nodes.
SLNBx with excision of lymph node(s) is identified by a combination of blue dye (lymphotropic dye injection) and lymphoscintography/gamma probe, ideally performed at the time of the primary melanoma wide excision (although this is not always possible).
Description of Medical ConditionMelanoma is a malignancy of skin pigment cells (melanocytes). The lifetime risk for melanoma in Australia is 1 in 24 for males and 1 in 35 for females. In 2011 there were 11,500 new cases diagnosed in Australia (Cancer Council Australia) and more than 1,500 die each year from the disease.
Reason for ApplicationNew MBS item
Medical Service TypeInvestigative
Previous Application Number/s1485
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