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Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The authors aimed to assess the overall risks of breast cancer recurrence (return of the cancer) following two types of breast cancer surgery.

Some background

Breast cancer treatments may include surgery; a mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast while breast-conserving surgery is the removal of the breast cancer but not the breast itself. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (treatment given before surgery) is often given first to shrink the tumor.

The risks of cancer recurrence following these treatments is difficult to predict. 

Methods & findings

The aim of this study was to determine the risks of cancer recurrence in relation to mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery treatments following chemotherapy.

A total of 206 women were evaluated for this study, of whom, 60% were hormone receptor positive (HR+; presence of either estrogen receptor or progesterone receptor proteins on cancer cells) and 32% were positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2+) breast cancer. 44% of the women received breast-conserving surgery and 56% received a mastectomy.

After 4 years, 7% of the women had local recurrent cancer (returned at or near the original tumor) while 22% of patients had a distant recurrence (cancer that has spread to distant organs).

Patients with a stage 3 tumor or inflammatory breast cancer (breast appears red and swollen) had a higher risk of recurrence (41% with a mastectomy and 37% with breast-conserving surgery) than those with a stage 2 tumor (5% with a mastectomy and 9% with breast-conserving surgery).

The bottom line

The authors concluded that there was a higher risk of developing recurrent cancer when the cancer was a stage 3 tumor at diagnosis regardless of whether mastectomy or breast conserving therapy were used. 

The fine print

This study contained a small group of patients.

Published By :

Annals of Surgical Oncology

Date :

May 01, 2014

Original Title :

Local Recurrence Rates are Low in High-Risk Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer in the I-SPY 1 Trial (CALGB 150007/150012; ACRIN 6657).

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