Through the years the concept of radical breast surgery was held by many men, yet it remained for William Stewart Halsted to develop the modern and complete operation for breast cancer. Such celebrated surgeons as Le Dran and Petit of France, Volkmann, Billroth, and Heidenhain in Germany, Moore, Lister, and Banks in England, and S. W. Gross and Willy Meyer in the United States were among the leaders of their period, but precedence for radical mastectomy has been uniformly bestowed on Halsted.
In the Johns Hopkins Hospital reports for 1890 and 1891 within the text of an article on wound healing Halsted 1 first published a summary of 13 cases of breast cancer treated by his initial technique of radical surgery. "About eight years ago (1882) I began not only to typically clean out the axilla in all cases of cancer of the breast but also to excise in almost
Lewison EF, Trimble FH, Griffith PC. RESULTS OF SURGICAL TREATMENT OF BREAST CANCER AT JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL, 1935-1940. JAMA. 1953;153(10):905-909. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940270011003