Health Questions and Answers

Question: What are the guidelines for treatment of stage I breast cancer?


The two basic options are lumpectomy with axillary dissection and radiation or modified radical mastectomy. Lumpectomy/radiotherapy is used if cosmesis is important, complete excision is possible, and > 6000 rads can be delivered to the tumor bed. Modified radical mastectomy is used if cosmesis is unimportant, lesion size is large relative to breast size, or radiotherapy is not technically feasible.

Reference: American Joint Committee on Cancer: Cancer Staging Manual, 6th ed. New York, Springer-Verlag, 2002.

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