Local recurrence in the conservatively treated breast cancer patient: A correlation with age and family history

Elizabeth V. Harrold, Bruce C. Turner, Ellen T. Matloff, Pradip Pathare, Malcolm Beinfield, Charles McKhann, Barbara A. Ward, Bruce G. Haffty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships among young age at diagnosis, family history status, and local recurrence in breast cancer patients treated with lumpectomy and radiation therapy. METHODS: Between January 1970 and December 1990, 984 early-stage breast cancer patients were treated with conservative surgery and radiation therapy at Yale-New Haven Hospital. All patient data, including demographics, staging information, treatment, and outcome variables were entered into a computerized database. The current study focused on the relationships between young age, family history, and local relapse. A group of 52 patients who experienced a local recurrence in the conservatively treated breast and 52 matched control patients who had not experienced a local recurrence were asked to participate in a study to determine whether local recurrence was associated with family history. Detailed family history interviews were conducted, and pedigrees were analyzed by a genetic counselor who was blind to the clinical history of the patients. RESULTS: As of September 1997, with a median follow-up of 12.3 years for the 984 patients in the database, the overall actuarial 10-year survival is 73%, and the 10-year distant metastasis-free survival is 78%. Of the 984 patients, 112 have experienced a local relapse in the conservatively treated breast, resulting in a 10-year actuarial breast relapse rate of 15%. The 10-year survival after breast relapse is 69%. Patient age tested as a continuous variable correlated strongly with ipsilateral breast tumor relapse. Using age 40 as a cutpoint, patients aged 40 years or less had a significantly higher local relapse rate than patients older than 40 years (P < 0.001). Although the relationship between local relapse and young age was strong, no association was found between family history and local relapse in the detailed family history study. CONCLUSIONS: Young age at diagnosis was a significant prognostic factor for local relapse. In a detailed family history study using a case- control design, no significant differences in family history status were found between patients who had experienced a local relapse and patients who had not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-307
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Journal from Scientific American
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Family history, age, local relapse, conservative surgery, radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Local recurrence in the conservatively treated breast cancer patient: A correlation with age and family history'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this