Research Article

Natural history and prognosis of recurrent breast cancer.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 09 September 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:730

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  1. S Karabali-Dalamaga,
  2. R L Souhami,
  3. N J O'Higgins,
  4. A Soumilas,
  5. C G Clark


    Patterns of recurrent disease were analysed in 603 patients with breast cancer. The time of onset, frequency of recurrence, and survival after recurrence were not influenced by age or menopausal state. While survival after local recurrence was longer than survival after distant metastasis, the time to onset of local and distant disease followed an identical pattern, indicating that local recurrence should be regarded as a manifestation of systemic disease. Postoperative radiotherapy did not affect the time of onset of local recurrence. We suggest that patients with local recurrence should receive both systemic and local treatment and that controlled trials of chemotherapeutic agents in these patients might be valuable in finding the most effective drug combinations to be used as adjuvant treatment after mastectomy.