In a nutshell
This study investigated the rate of loco-regional recurrence (LRR) when breast-conserving surgery (BSC) was not followed by radiotherapy. This study concluded that the rate of LRR was low in patients who did not undergo radiation after BCS, but that age and margin width were risk factors for LRR.
BCS is a surgery which treats breast cancer by removing only the tumor from the affected breast. Any recurrence following the surgery normally happens close to the original tumor. Usually, the remaining tissue is treated with radiation therapy to avoid recurrence. Some studies have indicated radiation is not necessary for lowering the risk of recurrence. Other studies have that patients who are not treated with radiation have an increased incidence of recurrence. It is also not clear whether there are particular risk factors that increase the risk of local recurrence following BCS.
Methods & findings
This study examined the rate of local recurrence in patients who did not undergo radiation after BCS. The records of 311 patients were examined for this study. The average follow-up time was 74 months.
The rate of LRR after 7 years was 3.8%. Seven year LRR rates were 5.6% in patients under 50. None of the patients over 50 experienced LRR. Patients with a margin width (the edge of the tissue removed during BCS between the tumor and the surrounding tissue) of less than 1 cm had a 9.4% LRR rate. Patients with a margin larger than 1 cm had a 0.9% 7-year LRR rate.
The bottom line
This study concluded that the rate of LRR was low in patients who did not undergo radiation after BCS. The authors suggested that patients under the age of 50 or those with surgical margins under 1 cm should consider radiation.
The fine print
This study involved only a small number of patients who were selected by their attending physicians. Further, just over 26% of patients were followed up for under five years, meaning estimates of recurrence may be slightly low.
Discuss the risks and benefits of BCS and radiation with your doctor.
Published By :
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Jan 12, 2017
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