Research Article| Volume 172, ISSUE 5, P487-490, November 1996

T1 breast carcinoma in women 70 years of age and older may not require axillary lymph node dissection

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      The current trend in breast cancer treatment is toward breast conservation and selective use of axillary lymph node dissection. Patient eligiblity criteria for treatment without axillary dissection are evolving.


      We retrospectively reviewed the tumor registry over a 10-year period at Naval Medical Center San Diego and included all women aged 70 and older with T1 breast carcinoma (n = 78). Data included tumor size, surgical therapy, postoperative therapy, recurrence, and survival. The women were divided into groups by the approach taken toward the axilla.


      No patient was given adjuvant chemotherapy. There were no axillary cancer recurrences in our patients. No statistically significant difference existed, regardless of the approach to the axilla, in recurrence or survival between groups.


      Axillary dissection in this population did not influence postoperative treatment, decrease recurrence, or improve survival. Our study suggests breast cancer treatment in this populationshould not include axillary dissection.
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