Author(s): Umpleby HC
Fifty-one consecutive women with early breast cancer underwent wide excision and axillary clearance. After wide excision five biopsies were taken from the walls of the cavity. On histological examination tumour was present in the cavity biopsies in 13 cases (25%). The presence of ductal carcinoma in situ in the primary tumour was not associated with an increased number of positive cavity biopsies. In nine cases incomplete excision was due to separate foci of invasive or in situ carcinoma, in two cases tumour was contiguous with the primary carcinoma and in two, separate foci and contiguous disease both occurred. The high incidence of residual local tumour after wide excision of breast cancer demands the need for postoperative irradiation to the breast and frequent review.