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Cancer of the breast. Results of treatment in Northern Ireland, 1955-1959.

Ulster Medical Society
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Medicine


CANCER OF THE BREAST Results of Treatment in Northern Ireland, 1955-1959 By A. R. LYONS, M.D., M.R.C.P., F.F.R.R.C.S.I. Northern Ireland Radiotherapy Centre, Montgomery House, Purdysburn, Belfast, 8 THE RESULTS of treatment presented in this paper are those obtained in Northern Ireland in certain cases of breast cancer during the years 1955 to 1959. The year 1955 was chosen for the start of the study, as in that year for the first time a sufficient number of simple mastectomies for comparison with radical mastectomies was carried out. For various reasons it was not possible to initiate a random trial though it is fully recognised that such a trial would have been the proper way to investigate the value of each treatment method. The study, therefore, is a retrospective one, and contains within it a group of cases in which thyroid hormone was used as a prophylactic agent against metas- tases. This group of cases was contrasted by random selection against a similar group receiving no thyroid hormone, and there is no difference in the results of treatment between the two groups at the period chosen for assessment. A full report of this investigation will be published elsewhere. It is not considered that the presence of these groups can influence the conclusions which can be drawn from the overall results in this paper. MATRIL AND METHODS A total of 947 cases of breast cancer were referred to the Radiotherapy Depart- ment during the years 1955 to 1959. Of these 213 cases, including those with bilateral tumours, or those with disease which had extended beyond the axilla, either to the supraclavicular region or to distant sites were excluded. Three cases of cancer in the male breast were also excluded. The remaining 731 cases having had surgery were treated by radiation. All had histological confirmation of the disease. They had had no treatment previously which could have influenced breast cancer, either in the affected breast or in the opposite breast. There were ten cases of prepancy carcinoma

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