The disease-free probabilities after 3 to 7 years of follow-up of 180 breast cancers of known doubling times were studied to assess the prognostic significance and clinical implications of the growth characteristics of primary breast cancer. Fast-growing tumours, N+ >3, showed a prognosis significantly worse (P <0.01) than that of slow-growing tumours of the same class; no significant differences were found among N- or N+ (1-3) fast-, intermediate- and slow-growing tumours. Highly significant differences were found among fast- and intermediate-growing tumours with different degrees of lymph node involvement (respectively P <0.0001 and P <0.001), with the worst prognosis for N+ >3 tumours. In contrast, no significant differences were found among slow-growing tumours of the different N classes. When the Cox model was applied, the relationship between lymph node involvement and doubling time was significant, as was the interaction term. It is suggested that growth rate and metastatic potential are not the same in primary breast cancers, and their relation should be investigated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research