History of surgery for breast cancer: radical to the sublime.Curr Surg. 2003 May-Jun; 60(3):329-37.CS
The historic milestones that have brought the surgical management of breast cancer to its current state are recounted. The Halsted radical mastectomy, once considered the ideal cancer operation, no longer has a place in the routine management of patients with breast cancer. Breast conservation in the form of segmental mastectomy, axillary node dissection, and radiation is often chosen over the modified radical mastectomy, popular in the 1980s. Axillary lymphadenectomy, shown to be of questionable therapeutic value in breast cancer, is certainly of prognostic significance. Studies are ongoing to establish the validity of the less-invasive sentinel node biopsy in determining axillary nodal status. Perhaps the most significant change in today's approach to breast cancer is the reliance on well-controlled prospective studies to evaluate outcome and determine the appropriate surgical procedure.