Early operable breast cancer is a potentially curable disease. However, a substantial number of patients are at risk for systemic recurrence and death. Breast conservation therapy (BCT) should be considered the preferred surgical option for most women with early operable breast cancer. Adjuvant systemic chemotherapy or hormonal therapy can substantially reduce, although not eliminate, the risk of recurrence and death. Neoadjuvant or primary systemic therapy (PST) in operable breast cancer slightly increases the number of women treated with breast conservation versus mastectomy. Although PST may identify women who are likely to have a better prognosis (those with a pathologic complete response), current PST strategies do not offer a survival advantage over standard adjuvant approaches. Early results of high-dose chemotherapy trials thus far have not shown any advantage over conventional dose therapy in high-risk patients with 10 or more positive lymph nodes. The role of adjuvant radiation therapy after mastectomy for all patients with high-risk early operable breast cancer is not fully defined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)