Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Breast conserving treatment usually consists of lumpectomy and axillary dissection followed by a limited dose of irradiation so that no significant side-effects occur. However, the precision of lumpectomy depends on the surgical maneuver and pathological evaluation performed at each institution. For this reason, post-operative irradiation to the preserved breast and for the occult carcinoma in the same breast is absolutely mandatory, and effectively becomes a routine step. In 1986, we started to adopt the new breast-conservation method of quadrantectomy with axillary dissection for restricted stage I breast cancer without using radiotherapy, at the Cancer Institute Hospital, Tokyo, Japan. As an alternative to irradiation to ensure safety, we chose to administer an elaborate pathological examination on serial sections. The pathological proof has saved troublesome post-operative irradiation, and the results have shown this method to be safe and clear-cut compared to the traditional breast-conserving treatment cited in the literature. From July 1986 to December 1994, we performed 321 cases of quadrantectomy and axillary dissection (Q+Ax). If the detailed pathological examination of 5-mm serial sections revealed the stump to be negative, we did not treat the preserved breast with radiotherapy. Out of 321 cases, 247 were analyzed as being stump-negative and of these 235 did not receive radiotherapy at all. During a 5 year 4 month observation period, we have not yet encountered any local recurrence. However, we have experienced 4 cases (1.70%) in which a second cancer developed in the conserved breast. The annual incidence rate was 0.32%. These results are the best so far compared to other published world reports.
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