An Analysis of 1347 Cases of Malignant Tumors of the Breast with Special Reference to Management and End-Results


The one important point to bear in mind in the consideration of any tumor of the breast is that it may be the starting point of a malignant growth. This is true whatever etiological factors may seem to have been involved in the formation of the tumor; whatever its site, whatever the age of the patient, whatever the family history may disclose. We shall have more to say regarding the potentialities of each of these factors; we mention them here only for the purpose of once again sounding the tocsin for though it has been sounded persistently by many writers on this subject, still the warning has not been sufficient for a period of watchful waiting is allowed in too many cases of apparently benign growths with dire results to the patient.

Age Incidence.— The greatest incidence of cancer of the breast is generally placed in the decade between 46 and 56 years. So often has this statement been made that there is danger of overlooking the fact that cancer of the breast may occur at any age. In our own series of cases the range has been from 20 to 87 years (table I).

I know of no case in which cancer has occurred before the advent of puberty. That cancer of the breast, however, is not entirely dependent upon the changes in the breast due to its functional capacity is shown by the fact that it may occur in man. Wainwright has collected 418 such cases. In our. . .



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