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October 15, 1982

Medical News

JAMA. 1982;248(15):1793-1803. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330150003001

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Treating breast cancer conservatively: dissension, contention continue  Which treatments provide the best chance for disease-free survival of early breast cancer? This question was the focus of a recent international conference, "Alternatives to Mastectomy 1982," cosponsored by the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Boston, and the departments of radiation and surgery, Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.Specifically, the Cambridge, Mass, conference dealt with the ongoing controversy as to whether conservative surgery and either "sampling" or dissection of axillary lymph nodes, followed by irradiation of the breast (and in some cases the nodes), is as effective as modified or radical mastectomy (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1981;245:661).The newer conservative surgical techniques include excisional biopsy, often referred to as lumpectomy, which entails removal of the tumor with or without removal of 1 to 2 cm of "clean" tissue, and segmental resection or quadrantectomy, involving removal of the breast quadrant in