Timing of Mets  After Surgery

The time-course of metastases from breast cancer after mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery with and without isolated local-regional recurrence

J. Fodor, C. Polgár, T. Major, L. C. Mangel, I. Szakolczai, I. Számel, I. Köves, J. Tóth, G. Németh

Abstract

We have examined time intervals between events in 390 metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients whose distant failure developed within 10 years from initial surgery of Stage I/II disease. All of the patients underwent axillary dissection and mastectomy (n=295) or breast-conserving surgery (BCS, n=95), between 1983 and 1987.

Distinctions have been made between distant failure with (n=79) and without (n=311) isolated local-regional recurrence (LRR). The median survival time after first relapse was significantly longer with intrabreast (30 months) and chest wall (24 months) than with distant relapse (15 months), but with axillary (17 months) or with supraclavicular (17 months) relapse survival was similar. The delay between LRR and distant metastasis was shorter with axillary (7 months) and supraclavicular (9 months) than with breast (20 months) and chest wall (12 months) recurrences.

The median postmetastatic survival time by site of first relapse was significantly shorter with supraclavicular (6 months) and axillary (9 months) than with distant site relapse (15 months) but with intrabreast (12 months) or with chest wall (11 months) recurrence survival was similar.

In MBC, regional recurrences are associated with a shorter interval between events than with local recurrences. The shortened intervals for patients with regional recurrence suggest that metastases existed at the time of initial surgery.

The question of whether prevention of local or regional recurrence or both improves cause-specific survival after mastectomy or BCS needs to be answered in randomized studies.

The Breast p 53-57, Volume 11, Number 1, February 2002 Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

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