Treatment of complications after breast-conservation therapy

Deborah A. Frassica, Gopal K. Bajaj, Theodore N. Tsangaris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Over the past 2 decades, breast-conservation therapy with lumpectomy and whole-breast radiotherapy has become a standard option for the maJority of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Long-term local control is achieved in approximately 85% of patients, and the therapy is generally well tolerated. There can, however, be long-term effects on the breast and other nearby tissues that may range from asymptomatic findings on examination to severe, debilitating problems. Infection, fat necrosis, and severe musculoskeletal problems such as osteoradionecrosis or soft-tissue necrosis are uncommon, affecting less than 5% of patients. However, changes in range of motion, mild-to-moderate musculoskeletal pain, and arm and breast edema are much more common. As more women choose breast-conservation therapy for management of their breast cancer, physicians will encounter these problems, as well as in breast tumor recurrence, with greater frequency. This review will focus on the incidence, contributing factors, and management of the late problems of infection, fat necrosis, musculoskeletal complications, and local recurrence following breast-conservation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1118-1128
Number of pages11
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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