• Chi-square statistics were used to compare prognostic factors of 60 patients with nonpalpable breast cancer (NPBC) and 112 patients with palpable breast cancer. Noninvasive cancers were more frequent, tumor size was smaller, and nodal metastasis was significantly less frequent in the NPBC group. However, the frequency of nodal metastasis was similar when adjusted for size and grade. There was no significant difference in the incidence of age and menopausal status of the patients, histologic types, hormone receptor status, and histologic/nuclear grade between these two groups. The findings were consistent with the hypothesis that NPBCs are potentially lethal tumors and that mammograms detect them earlier, ie, these tumors are smaller, localized, and, therefore, more curable.
(Arch Surg 1989;124:26-28)