Although the results of clinical trials support breast-conserving therapy as a replacement for mastectomy in early breast cancer, the question remains,whether these results apply in routine clinical practice. In the present analysis the breast cancer-specific survival and recurrence-free survival of 464 consecutive patients with breast tumours ≤ 3 cm across undergoing breast-conserving therapy were compared with a group of 459 patients with similar extent of disease and period of diagnosis undergoing mastectomy. All patients were treated in community hospitals in the south-eastern Netherlands. Median follow-up of both treatment groups was 6.2 years. After adjustment for the prognostic effects of age, tumour size, axillary nodal status and adjuvant systemic therapy, neither breast cancer-specific survival nor recurrence-free survival differed significantly between the breast-conserving therapy group and the mastectomy group. This finding indicates that in routine clinical practice breast-conserving therapy may be as effective as mastectomy.

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European Journal of Surgical Oncology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Voogd, A.C, Nab, H.W, Crommelin, D.J.A, van der Heijden, L.H, Kluck, N, & Coebergh, J.W.W. (1996). Comparison of breast-conserving therapy with mastectomy for treatment of early breast cancer in community hospitals. European Journal of Surgical Oncology, 22(1), 13–16. doi:10.1016/S0748-7983(96)91220-2