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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Online ISSN 1827-1898
Tocchi A., Mazzoni G., Bettelli E., Miccini M., Giuliani A., Cassini D.
From the 1st Department of Surgery University of Rome «La Sapienza», Rome, Italy
Background. Routine performance of axillary node dissection (AND) in the treatment of stage I and II breast cancer has become controversial because of pretended morbidity of this procedure and progressing consent for sentinel lymphadenectomy.
Methods. Ninety-four consecutive patients who underwent AND for clinical stage I and II breast cancer were evaluated for a range of 48.3 months after surgery for movement and sensory alterations and arm swelling. Arm circumference was measured in all patients at the same four sites on both the operated and non operated sides preoperatively and in the immediate and late postoperative course. Capacity for movement was assessed pre- and postoperatively as active ranging at the shoulder joint. Postoperative numbness and paresthesias were assessed by standard questions.
Results. No patient had axillary recurrence. None of the detected differences between the preoperative and postoperative arm circumferences reached statistical significance. No persistent motion limitation was observed. Pain, numbness, paresthesia were detected in almost all patients in the immediate postoperative period but resolved spontaneously in all cases within 6 months. The obese body habit was detected on multivariate analysis as the only significant predictor of edema.
Conclusions. No significant morbidity and no axillary recurrence were observed in current experience to follow AND. These findings suggest that axillary level I and II dissection remains an effective and safe tool for diagnostic, as well therapeutic, purposes in the treatment of stage I and II breast cancer. Further studies are necessary before it can safely be reported that axillary node dissection is an optional part of the treatment of stage I and II breast cancer.