Effect of preoperative chemotherapy on mastectomy for locally advanced breast cancer

D. N. Danforth, M. E. Lippman, H. McDonald, J. Bader, E. Egan, M. Lampert, S. M. Steinberg, S. M. Swain

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40 Scopus citations


Mastectomy is frequently performed after intensive chemotherapy for locally advanced breast cancer. The effects of preoperative chemotherapy on the postoperative course and the timing of subsequent adjuvant therapy, however, have not been defined. We therefore reviewed the perioperative course of 54 patients undergoing mastectomy after combination (CAMFPT) chemotherapy for stage III(A,B) (III(A) - 25 pts; III(B) noninflammatory - 5 pts; III(B) inflammatory 24 patients) breast cancer. A median of 7 cycles (6 months) of chemotherapy was administered preoperatively. Mastectomy was performed a median of 20 days after last chemotherapy; white blood cell count (WBC) and platelet counts returned to normal limits preoperatively. Total mastectomy with or without axillary node dissection was performed in 53 patients, and a Halsted radical mastectomy in 1 patient. Negative margins on breast and/or axillary tissue were achieved in 47 patients (87.0%). Postoperative complications included skin flap necrosis in 8 patients (14.8%), seroma formation in 5 patients (9.3%), and wound infection in 1 patient (1.9%). Median operative blood loss (550 cc), hospital stay (8 days), and duration of wound catheter drainage (6 days) were comparable to published reports for modified radical mastectomy without preoperative chemotherapy. Systemic chemotherapy was resumed a median of 16 days after mastectomy, and radiotherapy started a median of 33 days after mastectomy. These findings indicate that intensive preoperative chemotherapy does not increase the hospital course or the postoperative complications of mastectomy for locally advanced breast cancer. In view of the current interest in treatment of stage I and II breast cancer with preoperative chemotherapy, this information may be useful in their management as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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