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Breast conservation surgery for early breast cancer requires post-operative radiotherapy to give local control rates equivalent to mastectomy. Three hundred and thirty-five women presenting with symptomatic breast lumps and receiving radiotherapy and adjuvant systemic therapy at St. Bartholomew's, have actuarial 8-year local relapse-free rates of 90% for T1 and 83% for T2,3 presenting cases. Amongst 49 elderly and/or medically frail patients treated with a similar surgical policy but post-operative tamoxifen only (for standard risk features), the local relapse-free rates were 96% for T1 and 43% for T2,3. Most relapses occurred in the first 2 years in both groups. We conclude that, in the absence of high risk features (defined), breast conservation surgery and tamoxifen only is a safe option for T1 disease in the elderly, but that the risk of local relapse is considerably higher when this policy is employed for patients presenting with larger tumors.


Journal article


Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther

Publication Date





281 - 284


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Breast Neoplasms, Cohort Studies, Combined Modality Therapy, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Risk Assessment, Tamoxifen