Founded in 1993
  Year: 2002 | Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 7-12
  Original Article
  Background: Radical or modified radical mastectomy was considered for many years the standard therapy for operable patients. Following radical mastectomy, postoperative irradiation of the chest wall and peripheral lymphatics is indicated in selected high-risk patients. Some studies on breast cancer patients who underwent radical mastectomy and received adjuvant chemotherapy tried to find out whether the addition of irradiation treatment to the chest wall and regional lymph nodes increases survival. The hypothesis in favor of irradiation is that chemotherapy can eliminate distant micrometastases, but is less effective against local and regional diseases, which are better controlled by radiotherapy.
Methods: In one-year period, 110 patients with early stage of breast cancer were treated with radical mastectomy, and postoperative radiotherapy. Forty-one patients had only postoperative radiotherapy, 27 received also adjuvant chemotherapy, 40 received adjuvant hormonal therapy and 2 patients received both adjuvant chemo- and hormonotherapy. Postoperative irradiation was given on the regional lymph nodes (supra- and infraclavicular, axillary and internal mammary nodes) with the tumor dose 48 Gy in 22 fractions over a period of four and a half weeks. All fields were treated with Cobalt-60.
Results: After the median follow-up of 67 months, 33 patients (30 %) had some kind of failure in form of local recurrence, distant metastases or both. Locoregional relapse alone or associated with distant metastases occurred in 10 patients (9.1 %). Only 1.8 % of patients had local recurrence as the first failure. Distant metastases occurred in 32 patients (29.1%). After the end of follow-up, 60 % patients are alive without evidence of disease, while 16.4 % patients are alive with disease. The 5-year overall survival rate was 78.19% and 5-year disease-free survival rate was 67.44%.
Conclusion: Postoperative radiotherapy after radical mastectomy has important role in adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer in combination with adjuvant chemotherapy and hormonotherapy.
  Key words: Breast Neoplasms; Mastectomy, Radical; Radiotherapy; Postoperative Period
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Founder, owner and publisher: Oncology Institute of Vojvodina, Serbia
Online since 1997 (Abstracts only); 2000 (Abstracts and Full text)
ISSN: 0354-7310 eISSN: 1450-9520