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J R Soc Med. 1980 August; 73(8): 561–566.
PMCID: PMC1437852

Preoperative assessment and staging of breast cancer: preliminary communication1


A prospective study has been carried out in 172 women to determine the sensitivity of methods to detect occult metastatic disease in the skeleton and liver. With the exception of bone scintiscans, the results of these tests bore little relationship to recurrence rates. On the other hand, knowledge of the histopathology of the lower axillary (pectoral) lymph nodes is of value in this respect.

A follow-up study is also reported which confirms the importance of accurate measurements of the primary tumour clinical node status and oestrogen receptor contact of the tumour in defining prognostic groups. Elastosis (estimated in 165 tumours) did not prove to be a useful prognostic index.

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Selected References

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  • Bishop HM, Blamey RW, Morris AH, Rose DH, Preston B, Lane J, Doyle PJ. Bone scanning: its lack of value in the follow-up of patients with breast cancer. Br J Surg. 1979 Oct;66(10):752–754. [PubMed]
  • Burkett FE, Scanlon EF, Garces RM, Khandekar JD. The value of bone scans in the management of patients with carcinoma of the breast. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1979 Oct;149(4):523–525. [PubMed]
  • Cant EL, Smith AF, Sumerling MD, Forrest AP. "Superstaging" in breast cancer--a correlation of lymph node histology and investigations designed to detect occult metastatic disease. World J Surg. 1977 May;1(3):303–305. [PubMed]
  • Cooke T, George D, Shields R, Maynard P, Griffiths K. Oestrogen receptors and prognosis in early breast cancer. Lancet. 1979 May 12;1(8124):995–997. [PubMed]
  • Coombes RC, Powles TJ, Gazet JC, Nash AG, Ford HT, McKinna A, Neville AM. Assessment of biochemical tests to screen for metastases in patients with breast cancer. Lancet. 1980 Feb 9;1(8163):296–297. [PubMed]
  • Forrest AP, Cant EL, Roberts MM, Stewart HJ, Sumerling MD, Donaldson AA, Smith AF, Shivas AA. Is the investigation of patients with breast cancer for occult metastatic disease worth while? Br J Surg. 1979 Oct;66(10):749–751. [PubMed]
  • Hawkins RA, Hill A, Freedman B. A simple method for the determination of oestrogen receptor concentrations in breast tumours and other tissues. Clin Chim Acta. 1975 Oct 15;64(2):203–210. [PubMed]
  • Kiang DT, Frenning DH, Goldman AI, Ascensao VF, Kennedy BJ. Estrogen receptors and responses to chemotherapy and hormonal therapy in advanced breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 1978 Dec 14;299(24):1330–1334. [PubMed]
  • Knight WA, Livingston RB, Gregory EJ, McGuire WL. Estrogen receptor as an independent prognostic factor for early recurrence in breast cancer. Cancer Res. 1977 Dec;37(12):4669–4671. [PubMed]
  • Masters JR, Hawkins RA, Sangster K, Hawkins W, Smith II, Shivas AA, Roberts MM, Forrest AP. Oestrogen receptors, cellularity, elastosis and menstrual status in human breast cancer. Eur J Cancer. 1978 Mar;14(3):303–307. [PubMed]
  • Maynard PV, Blamey RW, Elston CW, Haybittle JL, Griffiths K. Estrogen receptor assay in primary breast cancer and early recurrence of the disease. Cancer Res. 1978 Nov;38(11 Pt 2):4292–4295. [PubMed]
  • Wallace IW, Champton HR. Axillary nodes in breast cancer. Lancet. 1972 Jan 29;1(7744):217–218. [PubMed]
  • Walt AJ, Singhakowinta A, Brooks SC, Cortez A. The surgical implications of estrophile protein estimations in carcinoma of the breast. Surgery. 1976 Oct;80(4):506–512. [PubMed]

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