Audrey Mars American Cancer Society Visiting Scholar in Epidemiology, Roswell Park Memorial Institute.
Management and survival of female patients with “minimal” breast cancer: As observed in the long-term and short-term surveys of the american college of surgeons
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2006
Copyright © 1981 American Cancer Society
Volume 47, Issue 12, pages 2769–2778, 15 June 1981
How to Cite
Bedwani, R., Vana, J., Rosner, D., Schmitz, R. L. and Murphy, G. P. (1981), Management and survival of female patients with “minimal” breast cancer: As observed in the long-term and short-term surveys of the american college of surgeons. Cancer, 47: 2769–2778. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19810615)47:12<2769::AID-CNCR2820471202>3.0.CO;2-7
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2006
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 JUN 1980
The American College of Surgeons' long-term breast cancer survey in 1978 included 16,894 pathologically confirmed carcinomas of the female breast, in situ or infiltrative, with negative or positive nodes. Of these, 1.9% were in situ carcinoma of any size, and 8.4% were minimal invasive carcinomas 1 cm or less in diameter. No significant difference was found between the survival of patients with in situ tumors of any size and minimal invasive tumors with negative axillary nodes measuring 1 cm or less in diameter. In patients with invasive tumors with negative axillary lymph nodes, no statistically significant difference was found in survival of patients with tumors of 0.5 cm or less, when compared either with survival of patients with tumors measuring 0.6–1.0 cm. Recurrence rates observed in those groups were not statistically significant. Among 157 patients with invasive tumors measuring 0.5 cm or less, 23.0% presented with axillary lymph node metastasis. Tumors measuring 0.6 to 1.0 cm showed 20.9% positive axillary nodes in 964 patients. Statistically significant differences in survival and recurrence rates were achieved only for invasive tumors smaller than 1 cm. Survival and recurrence rates were significantly better (P < 0.001) in patients with minimal invasive cancer with negative axillary nodes (P < 0.001) than rates of patients with invasive tumors larger than 1 cm and with negative lymph nodes. Similar statistical results were obtained for patients with positive axillary nodes only for invasive cancers smaller than 1 cm. However, survival and recurrence rates observed in invasive cancers of 1 cm or less with positive axillary nodes suggest that tumor size alone cannot be used as the only defining criterion for minimal invasive breast cancer. Only the status of axillary nodes may determine whether a small invasive tumor below 1 cm may be considered as minimal breast cancer.