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Presidential Address
April 2003

Breast Cancer Detection and TreatmentA Personal and Historical Perspective

Author Affiliations

Wadley Glenn Professor of Surgery, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga, retired.


Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Surg. 2003;138(4):397-408. doi:10.1001/archsurg.138.4.397

Two paradigms—breast cancer initially as a local and regional disease or breast cancer initially as a systemic disease—have affected the approach to detection and treatment of breast cancer throughout history. If breast cancer is a local/regional disease process, then there is a role for the surgeon in its cure. If breast cancer is a systemic disease, then surgery alone cannot cure it, and any cure must come from systemic treatments. If over time breast cancer progresses from a local disease to a systemic disease, then there may be a role for earlier detection of breast cancer.

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