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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(2):947-50.

Is axillary dissection necessary for breast cancer in old women? A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

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The Maternity and Infant Health Hospital of Lanzhou City, Lanzhou, Gansu, China.



We performed this meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness and safety of axillary dissection in old women.


The Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database were searched and all randomized controlled trials of axillary dissection in old women (at least 60 years old) were considered. Meta-analyses were completed using RevMan5.1.


Three eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) including 5,337 patients were considered. There was weak evidence in favour of axillary dissection (AD) in old women. The meta-analysis showed that the overall survival (OS) after 1, 3, 5 and 7 years and the disease free survival (DFS) after 1, 3 and 5 year were not statistically significantly different between AD and no AD groups. However, there was a difference in the 7 year DFS.


Axillary dissection did not provide survival benefit to the old women with breast cancer analysed. Therefore, axillary dissection is not well-indicated in old women with breast cancer.

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