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Factors Associated with Persistently Positive Margin Status after Breast-Conserving Surgery in Women with Breast Cancer: An Analysis of the National Cancer Database

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Margin status after definitive breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is a key predictor of local tumor recurrence. This study utilized the National Cancer Database, which captures 70 per cent of all cancer cases nationally, to determine factors associated with persistently positive margins status post-BCS. From 1998 to 2010, there were 1,170,284 patients with stage 0 to 3 breast cancer who underwent BCS. After final definitive surgery, 7.3 per cent of patients had positive margins. On bivariate analysis, persistently positive margin status post-BCS was correlated with patient age, race, ethnicity, comorbidities, facility type and location, tumor size, grade, presence of invasive disease, lymph node positivity, as well as receipt of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvant radiation therapy (P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, patients who were black, with multiple comorbidities, living in a Pacific state, who had larger, high-grade, node-positive invasive tumors, who did not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and who did not receive adjuvant radiation therapy were more likely to have persistently positive margins (P < 0.05). Although the goal of BCS is the attainment of negative margins, 7.3 per cent of patients have persistently positive margins after definitive surgery. These patients tend to have more aggressive disease and greater comorbidities, and are less likely to receive adjuvant radiation therapy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Publication date: 01 August 2016

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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