Uncertainty about the indications for and the results of radiotherapy for cancer of the breast is due principally to lack of a generally accepted classification of cases according to different stages of disease. The results of any method of treating cancer in any location depend primarily on the anatomic extent of involvement at the time treatment is instituted. Clinical symptoms and signs are not always indicative or conclusive of extent. Frequently this can be estimated only after surgical operations and microscopic examination of tissues removed. Therefore, in classifying cases of cancer of the breast both clinical and pathologic evidences of extent of involvement should be taken into consideration. This will permit comparing the results of therapeutic procedures on an equitable basis for cases in similar stages of disease, and preferred methods of treatment may be determined accordingly.
Several methods of classifying cases of cancer, based on clinical or pathologic manifestations
PORTMANN UV. CANCER OF THE BREAST: CLASSIFICATION OF CASES, CRITERIA OF INCURABILITY AND TREATMENT: Chairman's Address. JAMA. 1950;144(7):513–516. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920070001001
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