May 1989

Tamoxifen as an Alternative to Surgical Resection for Selected Geriatric Patients With Primary Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, McGill University, McGill Cancer Center, and The Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Canada (Dr Margolese); and Department of Surgery, Vermont Regional Cancer Center, University of Vermont, Burlington (Dr Foster).

Arch Surg. 1989;124(5):548-551. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410050038006

• Thirty elderly patients with primary operable breast cancer were treated initially, because of refusal of surgery or because of infirmity, only with the antiestrogen tamoxifen citrate. Nineteen patients had regression of the primary tumor (complete in five and partial in 14). Eight patients were stable with no change, and three had measurable increases in the size of their primary tumors. Nine of the 30 eventually required locoregional treatment with surgery or radiotherapy for progression or recrudescence of their tumors after initial regression. No patient developed uncontrollable locoregional disease. For selected geriatric patients, treatment with tamoxifen alone permits a delay of surgery, which for some exceeds life expectancy.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:548-551)