Oncology Central

A historical account of breast cancer surgery: beware of local recurrence but be not radical

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In the late 19th century, William Halsted proposed the radical mastectomy, which became the standard surgical treatment of breast cancer for nearly 100 years. Later in this period, theories suggesting that breast cancer was a systemic disease at inception were championed by Bernard Fisher. This alternative hypothesis of biological predeterminism was based upon results of randomized clinical trials comparing breast conserving therapy with mastectomy, which showed similar overall survival outcomes.

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