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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 107

of 'Breast conserving therapy'

Breast cellulitis following breast conservation therapy: a novel complication of medical progress.
Mertz KR, Baddour LM, Bell JL, Gwin JL
Clin Infect Dis. 1998;26(2):481.
Breast cellulitis is a novel complication of the recently accepted practice of breast conservation therapy. This phenomenon represents an anatomic shift from ipsilateral upper extremity cellulitis seen in past years when mastectomy with axillary lymph node dissection was performed for treatment of limited disease due to breast cancer. Thirteen episodes of breast cellulitis in nine women who underwent breast conservation therapy for stage I or II breast cancer are presented. The mean duration from the end of radiotherapy to the initial episode of cellulitis was 4.9 months. Eighty-three percent of episodes occurred in patients who had radiologically demonstrated fluid collections at the surgical lumpectomy site prior to the onset of cellulitis. Eight (61.5%) of 13 episodes occurred within 3 months of a follow-up mammogram of the treated breast. Two patients developed recurrent cellulitis within a 6-month period. Breast cellulitis may be more commonly seen in clinical practice as an increasing number of patients undergo breast-sparing procedures for treatment of limited disease due to cancer.
Department of Surgery, The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville 37920, USA.