Author(s): L Barthelmes
AIMS: The presence of residual disease at the excision margin after breast conserving surgery is the most important risk factor for local recurrence. One method for assessing tumour margin involvement is to take shavings from the wall of the resulting cavity following wide excision of the lesion.
METHODS: We have reviewed our experience of shaving the margin of the cavity as our method to ensure completeness of excision.
RESULTS: Of 351 patients treated with breast conservation 61 patients had residual disease in the cavity margin biopsies. Younger age, axillary lymph node status, multi-focal tumours and high grade tumours were significantly correlated with margin involvement. In patients who had clear margins eight patients (2.8%) had developed a local recurrence at follow-up of 55 months (25-89 months).
CONCLUSIONS: In our hands the use of cavity margin shavings allows us to achieve an acceptable rate of local control.Breast Cancer: Current Research