Interest and controversy in the management of breast cancer have simmered and boiled as steadily as the incidence and prevalence of the disease in the past three decades. The vital statistics during the past 28 years, according to the American Cancer Society (written communication, June 1966), show a threefold rise in mortality in the United States-25,401 deaths as of 1963. With the risk of a woman developing breast cancer estimated at 5%,1 and a continued rise in incidence after 30 years of age, few practitioners of medicine will not have direct contact with this malignancy, as it initially presents or progresses by involving other organ systems. The age distribution of total cases of breast cancer is at variance with the annual incidence of all cancer, skewing the curve into a younger population (Fig 1). The emotional impact is considerable. To the woman, it means loss of a structure identified with
Rubin P. Carcinoma of the Breast Stage I—Surgical Spectrum: General Introduction. JAMA. 1967;199(10):732–735. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120100094018
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