Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society

Recurrence of Breast Cancer in the Chest Wall -Our Experience with Successful Resection and  Reconstruction
Sanaz Leilabadi1, Karl F. Uy2, Cameron Stock2, B. Marie Ward2, Anne Larkin2, Raymond Dunn2, Geoffrey Graeber2,  1University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA, 2UMass Memorial, Worcester, MA


OBJECTIVE: To document our experience with chest wall resection and reconstruction in treating localized recurrence of breast cancer.

METHODS: Retrospective review of cases done recently at our institution – a University Hospital with special interest and expertise in cancer treatment. Outcome was measured by freedom from local recurrence of breast cancer in the chest wall as witnessed by CT and PET scans. Four patients with recurrent breast cancer limited to the chest wall with no evidence of spread -underwent surgical removal of recurrence. Two patients had recurrence limited to the soft tissues beneath the breast but no clear evidence of penetration of the chest wall. Two patients required resection of the chest wall with stabilization and reconstruction to preserve thoracic integrity.

RESULTS: All four patients had successful reconstructions without complications. Two required chest wall resection and stabilization due to the size of the breast cancer recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS: Resection of limited recurrent cancer of the breast involving the chest wall and/or the overlying soft tissues can be effectively conducted with good results if the entirety of the recurrence is resected with a clear margin and there is no evidence whatsoever that the breast cancer has recurred elsewhere.