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Cancer. 1984 Mar 1;53(5):1209-13.

Conservative treatment versus mastectomy in breast cancer tumors with macroscopic diameter of 20 millimeters or less. The experience of the Institut Gustave-Roussy.


A clinical trial was conducted at the Institut Gustave Roussy between October 1972 and December 1980 to compare mastectomy with local excision plus Cobalt-irradiation, in patients with breast cancer tumors of 20 mm in diameter or less at macroscopic examination. Low-axillary dissection and extemporaneous histologic examination were carried out for all patients. If one or more positive nodes were found, complete axillary dissection was performed. The study included 179 patients. No significant difference was detected in either overall or relapse-free survival between the two groups, although the conservatively treated group showed slightly better results. The results of conservative treatment were esthetically satisfactory in 92% of the cases. The trial included a second randomization for the patients with positive axillary nodes to assess the value of nodal area irradiation; 72 patients were studied in this part of the trial. No significant differences were found between the two groups after adjustment for the number of positive axillary nodes, although the no-nodal irradiation group showed better results and less complications than the nodal irradiation group.

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