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J Natl Med Assoc. 1995 Jul;87(7):500-4.

Conservative treatment of early-stage breast cancer in a medically indigent population.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


The compliance with a program of breast-conservation treatment for early-stage breast cancer and the results of that treatment among women treated between January 1983 and January 1992 was investigated in a large inner-city public hospital serving a primarily black population. Medical records and charts were reviewed for 25 consecutive patients with stage I and II breast cancer seen in consultation in the radiation oncology department. Of those 25 patients, 20 underwent lumpectomy and radiation therapy. Survival, disease-free survival, and local recurrence-free survival were computed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Compliance was evaluated based on time to complete the prescribed course of radiotherapy after a lumpectomy. Five-year local recurrence-free survival for stage I and II patients was 95% (confidence interval [CI]: 71% to 99%). Five-year overall survival for stage II patients was 71% (CI: 31% to 92%), and disease-free survival was 74% (CI: 36% to 91%). This study demonstrates that a program of breast-conservation treatment for early-stage breast cancer can be implemented with good results, excellent treatment compliance, and 100% follow-up in a population of medically indigent women.

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