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To the Editor.—The article entitled "The Treatment of Primary Breast Cancer" by Getzen et al which appeared in the February 1968 issue of the Archives was biased and could be misinterpreted. Those patients who had the poorest clinical and pathological staging were undoubtedly selected for postoperative radiotherapy. This is a natural bias of the Tumor Board or the treating physician. This selection alone could explain the poor long-term survival of these patients. It is important to realize that postoperative radiotherapy has a major contribution to offer in decreasing the frequency and distribution of local recurrences on the chest wall, and in the axillary, supraclavicular, and parasternal regions. This local control may have no bearing on long-term survival rates in patients treated by surgery with or without subsequent postoperative radiotherapy.
There has been no significant change in the survival rates of patients with cancer of the breast over the past
KLEIN R. COMMENTS ON GETZEN ET AL'S ARTICLE. Arch Surg. 1969;99(3):418. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340150126028