Breast cancer in patients with residual invasive carcinoma is more accurately staged with additive tumor size assessment

S. T. Hollenbeck, C. Cellini, P. Christos, Y. Varnado-Rhodes, D. Martins, M. Nussbaum, M. P. Osborne, R. M. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Accurate assessment of tumor size for patients with breast cancer undergoing re-excision following breast-conserving therapy is important for appropriate staging and adjuvant treatment. We investigated the accuracy of additive vs. nonadditive size assessment in determining final tumor stage. Methods: Patients with infiltrating carcinoma in the initial excision and in at least one additional re-excision (re-excision positive; n=89) had tumor size assessed with additive and nonadditive techniques. This group was compared with patients undergoing re-excision but without identifiable residual carcinoma (re-excision negative; n=105) regarding rates of lymph node (LN) metastasis. Results: The re-excision positive patients had a different median final tumor size depending on the size assessment technique used (nonadditive: 1.8 cm; additive:3.0 cm;P<.0001). Both groups of patients had a median tumor size consistent with T1c staging in nonadditive size assessment. However, re-excision positive patients had a significantly higher incidence of LN metastasis (P<.05) than did re-excision negative patients. Both groups were then separated into T1 and T2 stages and the LN metastasis rates were assessed. Compared with nonadditive size assessment, additive size assessment distributed re-excision positive patients into T stages whereby the LN metastasis rates more closely approximated those of re-excision negative patients (T1, 3% vs. 6% difference; T2, 4% vs. 13% difference). Conclusions: With regard to LN metastasis, staging for patients with residual invasive carcinoma in re-excision specimens is more accurate with additive tumor size assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast neoplasm
  • Positive margins
  • Re-excision
  • Tumor size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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