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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 100

of 'Breast conserving therapy'

Preservation of cosmesis with low complication risk after conservative surgery and radiotherapy for ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast.
Mills JM, Schultz DJ, Solin LJ
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1997;39(3):637.
PURPOSE: Although the clinical outcome after treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) using breast-conservation surgery and radiation therapy has been well documented, little data has been reported on cosmetic outcome or treatment complications. Therefore, the present study was performed to evaluate cosmesis and complications after breast-conservation treatment for DCIS and to analyze various factors that might affect cosmesis and predispose to complications.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: The records of 90 patients who were alive without evidence of disease with a 3-year minimum follow-up were evaluated for cosmetic results and treatment complications following breast-conservation surgery and radiation therapy for DCIS. Complete gross excision of the primary tumor had been performed in all patients. Additionally, 24 patients had undergone an axillary lymph node dissection in the earlier years of the study. The majority of the patients had received 50-50.4 Gy to the whole breast followed by an electron boost for a total dose of 60-66 Gy.
RESULTS: The cosmetic results of 90 evaluable patients at 3 years were: excellent in 69 (77%), good in 19 (21%), and fair in 2 (2%). The cosmetic results of 64 evaluable patients at 5 years were: excellent in 46 (72%), good in 16 (25%), and fair in 2 (3%). Factors associated with worse cosmetic results were an increased volume of tissue excised (>70 cm3) and a negative ipsilateral breast biopsy after radiotherapy. Complications in the 24 patients with an axillary dissection were: arm edema (n = 6), cellulitis of the arm (n = 5), and axillary vein thrombosis (n = 1). Complications in the 66 patients without an axillary dissection were: cellulitis of the arm (n = 1) and cellulitis of the breast (n = 1).
DISCUSSION: Breast-conservation surgery followed by radiation therapy achieved excellent or good cosmetic results in 98 and 97% of patients at 3 years and 5 years, respectively. Complications were associated primarily with axillary dissection, which is no longer standard practice, and complications were uncommon in patients without an axillary dissection. Therefore, patients currently treated for DCIS of the breast would be expected to have a high rate of excellent or good cosmetic outcome with a low risk of complications.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104, USA.