Results of chest wall resection for recurrent or locally advanced breast malignancies

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Between 1998 and 2003 we observed 15 women who underwent full thickness chest wall resection (FTCWR) followed by plastic reconstruction for locally recurrent or primary breast cancer. Preoperative symptoms were: pain (5 patients), malodorous ulceration (3 patients), presence of tumour mass (4 patients) and thoracic deformity (2 patients). One patient was asymptomatic. Surgery was partial sternectomy with rib resection in 9 patients, rib resection alone in 5, and total sternectomy in one. No perioperative mortality or major morbidity occurred; minor complications occurred in 3 patients (20%). Five of the six surviving patients reported a positive overall outcome in a telephonic interview. Median overall and disease-free survival were 23.4 and 17.5 months, respectively. In conclusion, FTCWR is a safe procedure with low morbidity and mortality that can provide good symptoms palliation in patients with locally advanced breast malignancies, so it should be considered more often by interdisciplinary care providers in those patients who fail to respond to classic multimodality treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Advanced breast cancer
  • Chest wall surgery
  • Palliation
  • Patient satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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