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May 10, 1965

Five Views of Mastectomy and Radiation

JAMA. 1965;192(6):27-29. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080190159055

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Is simple mastectomy preferable to radical mastectomy? How effective is x-ray for breast cancer therapy? Is supra-radical surgery or supervoltage irradiation or both sometimes more beneficial than conventional means of treatment?

Five clinicians and research workers discussed these aspects of therapy for breast cancer recently at the American Radium Society meeting.

• George Crile, Jr., MD, Cleveland, said he believed that simple mastectomy is preferable to radical surgery in early breast cancer when regional lymph nodes are not involved. "Also, experimental evidence suggests that in occasional stage 1 breast cancers, prophylactic removal or irradiation of uninvolved axillary nodes may reduce immunologic resistance of the host and favor development of metastases."

• T. A. Watson, MD, London, Ontario, said, "The best management of early, uncomplicated breast cancer is radical mastectomy supplemented when indicated... with postoperative irradiation." If the axillary nodes are involved, irradiation should be used for the axillary, supraclavicular, and

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