Breast Cancer Coverage From Every Angle

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy and Breast Cancer Recurrence

Barbara L. Smith, MD, PhD, FACS, of the Division of Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues reported a low rate of cancer recurrence within the first 5 years after nipple-sparing mastectomy in women with breast cancer. Their single-institution study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, demonstrated an overall recurrence rate of 5.5% among 311 operations (17 patients), at a median follow-up of 51 months. And, no recurrence involving the retained nipple-areola complex was observed.

“Our study, which has one of the longest reported follow-ups after therapeutic nipple-sparing mastectomy in the United States, provides additional support that it’s safe to leave the nipple intact during mastectomy, with only a few exceptions,” revealed Dr. Smith in a press release from the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Of the 311 nipple-sparing mastectomies performed, 240 (77%) were for invasive cancer, and 71 (23%) were for ductal carcinoma in situ. The estimated disease free–survival rate was 95.7% at 3 years and 92.3% at 5 years.

“Women planning a mastectomy should ask their surgeon whether they are eligible for a nipple-sparing operation,” indicated Dr. Smith in an ACS press release.