Association between patient age, volume of breast tissue excised, and local recurrence

Haggi Mazeh*, Itamar Sagiv, Daniela Katz, Herbert R. Freund, Tamar Peretz, Tanir M. Allweis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery have a significantly higher rate of local recurrence compared with older women. The aim of this study was to assess whether the volume of tissue excised may be associated with the higher local recurrence rate seen in young patients. Methods: Medical records of patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery at a single institution between 1987 and 2001 were reviewed retrospectively. Tumor and specimen volumes were extracted from pathology reports, and specimen-to-tumor-volume ratio (STVR) was calculated. STVR and local recurrence rates were compared for women under 40 and over 50 y of age. Results: Data were available for 97 patients under age 40 and 150 women over age 50. Patients under 40 had significantly more high-grade tumors (57% versus 25%, P < 0.0005). There was no significant difference in average tumor size; however, both specimen volume and STVR (log scale) were lower in younger women: 4.63 versus 5.20, P < 0.001 and 3.81 versus 4.55, P < 0.001, respectively. Younger women also had a significantly higher rate of local recurrence: 17% versus 7%, P = 0.03. On multivariate analysis, lower STVR was significantly associated with a higher recurrence rate for the entire group (P < 0.005) and, to a lesser degree, in younger women (P = 0.05). Conclusions: The volume of tissue removed in women younger than 40 undergoing breast-conserving therapy tends to be smaller than in older women. This may contribute to the higher local recurrence rates observed in young breast cancer patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Age
  • Breast-conserving surgery
  • Local recurrence
  • STVR
  • Volume


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