[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
December 1989

Cosmesis and Local Control After Irradiation in Women Treated Conservatively for Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(12):1369-1373. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410120015004

•One hundred twenty-two patients (124 tumor sites) with breast carcinoma (T1 to T3, N0 to N2, MO) were treated by a lumpectomy and radiation therapy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from June 1978 to December 1986. Irradiation to the breast and regional lymph nodes was carried out with cobalt 60 teletherapy in 2-Gy fractions to 50 Gy, followed by an additional boost of 10 Gy to the tumorectomy site with coned electrons. Cosmesis was analyzed by scoring the effects of surgery, as well as the effects of irradiation, and by photographic assessment. After a follow-up of 24 to 119 months (median, 36 months), 82% of the patients were found to have good or excellent cosmetic scores. There was a trend that favored better cosmetic results in younger patients and in patients with outer-quadrant lesions. No significant impact of adjuvant chemotherapy on the cosmetic outcome or on the complications of treatment was demonstrated. There were six local recurrences (5.2%), three of which were true recurrences and the other three that were new primary tumors; 11 distant failures (9%) occurred. The following side effects from irradiation developed in only 5 patients (4.1%): match-line fibrosis (n=2), soft-tissue necrosis (n=1), and persistent tenderness (n = 2). The conditions of the two patients with persistent tenderness responded favorably with conservative management. We concluded that a lumpectomy, followed by radiation therapy, provides good cosmetic results without compromising the local control rate. If adjuvant chemotherapy is planned, we recommend that it be administered before radiation therapy in favor of concomitant therapy with both modalities.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1369-1373)

Add or change institution