Axillary dissection (ad) does not affect recurrence or survival in t1a breast cancer.
Cohort study comparing patients who underwent ad and those who did not.
Provincial cancer agency.
Six hundred ninety-one women with pathologically diagnosed t1a tumors.
Main outcome measures
Rates of axillary metastases stratified according to grade and lymphovascular and/or neural invasion, rates of relapse, and disease-specific survival.
Grade 1, 2, and 3 tumors without lymphovascular and/or neural invasion had axillary nodal involvement rates of 0.7%, 7%, and 7.8% of patients, respectively; with lymphovascular and/or neural invasion, axillary nodes were involved in 9.1%, 39.3%, and 44.4%, respectively. no statistically significant differences were found between the cohorts in relapse rates (P = .70) or survival (P = .84).
Higher tumor grade and lymphovascular and/or neural invasion increased the rate of nodal metastases in t1a tumors, but ad did not improve relapse rates or breast cancer–specific survival.