Purpose: To investigate the frequency of breast-sparing treatment among breast cancer patients subsequently enrolled in national cooperative group studies of adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients and Methods: A data base was formed of 5,172 patients randomized onto two intergroup trials. Lumpectomy rates were analyzed within study-defined risk strata and across geographic regions. Significant predictors of lower lumpectomy usage were determined in multivariate analyses with variables that described patient and disease characteristics, systemic risk strata, geographic region, and socioeconomic indicators based on zipcode of residence. Results: Breast-conservation rates were 30% in the node-negative and 15% in the node-positive trials, with a wide geographic variation within each study (range, 14% to 49% and 9% to 31%, respectively). Lumpectomy use declined with increasing tumor size and did not exceed 40% even for tumors ≤ 1 cm with negative nodes. With increasing risk of systemic relapse, frequency of lumpectomy declined (rates for five strata in order of increasing systemic risk: 41%, 33%, 24%, 18%, and 11%), even though these strata were not known at the time of the surgical decision. A logistic model confirmed the joint significance of geographic region and systemic risk. An exploratory model that adjusted for all important variables identified the following significant predictors of lower lumpectomy use: positive nodes; many positive nodes, increased systemic risk; tumor size ≤ 2.0 cm; older age; South, Central or non-New England regions; and either lack of college degree or lower income levels. Conclusion: Breast-sparing therapy was used in the minority of women subsequently accrued to two national adjuvant breast cancer studies, even though this cohort and their referring surgeons represented a select population. Although multiple concrete factors were independent predictors of lower lumpectomy rates, prospective research is needed into how patients and their physicians approach the mastectomy versus lumpectomy decision.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research