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Br J Surg. 2001 Jan;88(1):118-22.

Detection, treatment and outcome of axillary recurrence after axillary clearance for invasive breast cancer.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim was to gain insight into the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of axillary recurrence after axillary clearance for invasive breast cancer in a large patient series.

METHODS:

Between 1984 and 1994, 4669 patients with invasive breast cancer underwent axillary clearance in eight community hospitals in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands. Using follow-up data in a population-based cancer registry, 59 patients with axillary recurrence were identified.

RESULTS:

The median interval between treatment of the primary tumour and the diagnosis of axillary recurrence was 2.6 (range 0.3-10.7) years. In 51 patients (86 per cent), axillary recurrence was found by palpation during routine follow-up. Surgery was part of the treatment of recurrence for 41 of 59 patients. Regional control (complete eradication of axillary recurrence) was achieved in 34 patients (58 per cent). The 5-year actuarial survival rate was 39 (95 per cent confidence interval 25-53) per cent. Patients with negative axillary lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis of the primary tumour and complete eradication of axillary recurrence had the best prognosis.

CONCLUSION:

Patients with axillary recurrence had a poor prognosis, except when complete eradication was achieved and axillary lymph nodes were negative at the time of diagnosis of the primary tumour.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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