Resection of the nipple-areolar complex (NAC) for central breast cancers that involve the nipple or areola, with postoperative radiation therapy, adheres to the oncologic principles established for breast conservation surgery of other breast cancers. Good or excellent cosmetic results can be achieved. The rate of ipsilateral breast recurrence will be similar to that seen with peripheral breast cancers. The indications for breast conservation surgery can be safely extended to include patients with breast cancers that involve the NAC.
Retrospective medical record review; follow-up patient questionnaire.
Community teaching hospital.
Fifteen patients, aged 46 to 88 years, whose central breast cancers involved the NAC precluding preservation of the NAC.
Nipple-areolar complex resection, postoperative radiation therapy.
Main Outcome Measures
Ipsilateral breast recurrence, survival, cosmesis.
Ten patients had subareolar cancers that directly involved the nipple or areola; 5 patients had Paget disease of the nipple. Average tumor size was 1.6 cm (range, 0.2-3.5 cm). With a mean follow-up of 32 months (range, 4-109 months), there has been only 1 recurrence (7%), which was treated successfully by modified radical mastectomy. All 15 patients are alive and free of disease. Cosmetic results are satisfactory to excellent, as judged by both the patients and the surgeons.
Nipple-areolar complex resection for central subareolar cancers that directly involve the NAC, as well as for Paget disease of the nipple, extends the indications for breast conservation in other areas of the breast, and with acceptable cosmesis.