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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1995 Aug 30;33(1):53-7.

Subareolar breast cancer: long-term results with conservative surgery and radiation therapy.

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  • 1Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven CT 06510, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

It has been suggested that patients presenting with breast cancers within 2 cm of the nipple areolar complex represent a relative contraindication to conservative management due to either a compromised cosmetic result associated with sacrifice of the nipple areolar complex, reluctance to include the entire nipple areolar complex in the conedown field, or increased risk of multicentricity. We have reviewed our experience of conservatively treated patients with specific reference to the subset of patients presenting with tumors within 2 cm of the nipple areolar complex.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Between January 1970 and December 1989, 1014 patients with early stage breast cancer were treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital by excisional biopsy with or without axillary lymph node dissection. Of the 1014 charts reviewed, a total of 98 patients fulfilled the criteria of having a central/ subareolar breast cancer. Reexcision was performed on only 16 patients. Following conservative surgery, patients were treated with radiation therapy to the intact breast to a total median dose of 48 Gy with conedown to a total of 64 Gy. adjuvant systemic therapy and regional nodal irradiation were administered as clinically indicated.

RESULTS:

As of December 1993, the median follow-up for the 98 patients in this study was 9.03 years. The majority of patients had presented with either a palpable mass or a mammographically detected lesion. Three patients presented with Paget's disease, five with nipple discharge, and seven with nipple inversion. Ten of the 98 patients had the nipple areolar complex sacrificed at the time of surgery, while the remaining 88 patients had the entire nipple areolar complex included in the conedown field. Four of these 88 patients had the nipple partially blocked during the electron conedown. There were no significant complications associated with including the entire nipple areolar complex within the conedown field to a median dose of 64 Gy. Six of the 98 patients experienced a local recurrence, three experienced a regional recurrence, and nine experienced distant metastasis. The actuarial 10-year survival (0.79 +/- 0.06), distant disease-free survival (0.88 +/- 0.04) and breast recurrence-free survival (0.84 +/- 0.07) were not significantly different from those patients who presented with cancers in other parts of the breast.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients presenting with subareolar breast cancers within 2 cm of the nipple areolar complex are suitable candidates for conservative surgery and radiation therapy. In the majority of patients in this study, the nipple areolar complex did not need to be sacrificed and could be safely included in the electron conedown field with acceptable complications and cosmesis. A subareolar breast cancer does not represent a relative contraindication to conservative management in patients with early stage breast cancer.

PMID:
7642431
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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