Background: Local recurrence occurs in 10%-20% of patients treated with breast-conserving surgery for stage I-II breast cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate breast cancer local recurrence, potential risk factors, and prognostic impact. Methods: A total of 503 patients treated with breast-conserving surgery were included in the study. All patients underwent axillary dissection and postoperative radiotherapy, and all patients had negative margins at pathological examination. Median follow-up was 82 months. Local recurrence was classified as early when it occurred within 2 years from surgery. The risk factors for local recurrence and overall survival were estimated by univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: Forty-six cases (9.1%) of local recurrence were observed, 11 of which occurred within 24 months of surgery; the other 35, sometime later. Statistically significant risk factors for local recurrence were premenopausal status, peritumoral vascular invasion, multifocality, and absence of estrogen receptors. Independent negative prognostic factors for overall survival at 5 and 10 years were N stage, absence of estrogen receptors, and early time to recurrence. Overall survival at 10 years was 10.0% for patients with early recurrence, 87.5% for patients with late recurrence, and 87.9% for patients without recurrence. Conclusions: None of the studied clinicopathological characteristics alone is a determinant for the choice of surgical treatment. Younger patients treated with breast-conserving surgery should receive aggressive postsurgical treatment and should be followed with an intensive follow-up program when metastatic axillary lymph nodes, negative estrogen receptors, or peritumoral vascular invasion are present.
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