Primary radiation therapy for stage I and II breast cancer

Seminars in Surgical Oncology
S Fisher, L W Brady


In 1987 there were estimated to be approximately 130,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the United States. Presently, about 20-30,000 of these cases are treated with primary radiotherapy, although many more of the 90,000 stage I and II breast cancer cases are eligible for this form of treatment. Appropriate selection must be employed, including the size and site of the primary tumor, the size of the breast, the potential for multifocal disease, and the age of the patient. When proper selection is used, primary radiotherapy for stage I and II disease yields equivalent overall survival and NED survival when compared to traditional mastectomy. The benefit is preservation of the breast with good to excellent cosmesis in the vast majority of patients.


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