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Tumori. 1980 Jun 30;66(3):331-8.

Prognosis and treatment of loco-regional breast cancer recurrences: critical considerations on 120 cases.


In the present study we report the long-term results for 120 female patients who underwent mastectomy for breast cancer, from 1955 to 1965, and in whom the first relapse was represented by a skin recurrence or a supraclavicular lymph node metastasis. Eighty-nine patients had been submitted only to local therapy, 11 had also undergone bilateral oophorectomy, and in the remaining 20 hormonal compounds had been administered in addition to local therapy. The disease-free interval between the first and the second relapse, and survival after the treatment of the first relapse were strictly related to the presence and the number of axillary lymph node metastases at the time of the mastectomy (N category). In fact, the median survival was 19.5 months for 63 cases with more than 3 metastatic lymph nodes, 29 months for 24 cases with 1-3 involved lymph nodes, and 59 months for 38 cases without axillary involvement. No significant difference in survival was observed in relation to chronological age and menopausal status of the patients or to the length of the disease-free interval. The association of endocrine therapies to local treatment of the recurrences also did not increase the survival rate in these cases. The present data indicate that the prognosis for patients with recurrent breast cancer is mainly related to the N category.

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