BACKGROUND: Large studies have shown a similar outcome when comparing mastectomy with lumpectomy and external beam radiation therapy in the treatment of infiltrating ductal carcinoma. However, this has not been studied extensively for invasive lobular carcinoma. We studied the pattern of recurrence and overall survival of patients treated with lumpectomy and radiation for either invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) or combined invasive lobular carcinoma/invasive ductal carcinoma (ILC/IDC) of the breast. DESIGN: A retrospective chart review was performed for 111 patients with ILC or ILC/IDC who were diagnosed and/or treated at the university hospital between 1984 and 1994. RESULTS: Of the 111 patients, 93 had stage I or II tumors. Thirty-four patients (37%) were treated with lumpectomy and adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy with one (3%) local recurrence and a mean overall survival of 83.6 months. Fifty-nine patients (63%) were treated by modified radical mastectomy with two local recurrences (3%) and a mean overall survival of 71.7 months. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with ILC or ILC/IDC can be effectively treated with lumpectomy and radiation for stage I and II tumors while maintaining a low risk of local recurrence and equivalent overall survival.
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