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We report the recurrence rate and survival time in 31 patients with carcinoma of the breast who were treated by limited excision of the primary tumour and no other therapy. At three years the overall recurrence rate in the breast was 28%. One patient was found to have systemic disease and two died of other causes. The overall recurrence rate in the breast at five years was 33%. One patient died of disseminated disease at 6 years 4 months.