Author(s): Malik HZ
AIMS: To assess the impact of adopting a policy of tumour bed assessment with selective re-excision in patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery for breast cancer.
METHODS: Tumour bed assessment was introduced in our institution in 1988. Patients treated prior to 1988 (125 patients) were compared with patients treated post-1988 (239 patients) for clinico-pathological factors, surgical and adjuvant therapy. Outcome measures were examined at a fixed 5-year follow-up period for each patient.
RESULTS: There were a greater number of small, node-negative, oestrogen receptor tumours post-1988, probably due to the influence of the National Breast Screening Programme. There was also a difference in the prescription of adjuvant systemic therapy between the two cohorts. The incidence of tumour bed positivity was 30.5%. The re-excision rate was 16.4%. There was a significant fall in the incidence of local recurrence from pre-1988 (15.7%) to post-1988 (2.5%).
CONCLUSION: By adopting a policy of tumour bed assessment with selective re-excision, a low local recurrence rate has been achieved. The improvement in systemic recurrence and breast cancer-related death rate are mainly secondary to other factors.Breast Cancer: Current Research