Conservative treatment of breast cancer: Its evolution

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Background. Over recent decades, breast carcinoma surgery has witnessed a considerable evolution. The extent of surgery undertaken has progressively reduced, leading to less disfigurement and a significant improvement in quality of life, thereby offering women considerable motivation to seek early diagnosis. From an oncological perspective, outcome was found to be equally effective, and this key observation provided us with significant impetus to investigate the effects of reducing the radiotherapy field. Patients and methods. We present the achievements made so far in the conservative treatment of breast carcinoma, based on experiences at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and, prior to 1994, at the Milan Cancer Institute. Results and discussion. Conservative surgery of breast carcinoma, both in the breast and in the axillary nodes, has yielded very good results in terms of overall survival and impact on quality of life. The reduction of the radiation field, conducted in our Institute by means of electron intraoperative radiotherapy (ELIOT), is currently the subject of evaluation via a randomised trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-198
Number of pages4
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Breast carcinoma
  • Conservative surgery
  • Intraoperative radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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