Prognostic significance of the number of lymph nodes examined in patients with lymph node-negative breast carcinoma.

Published

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: A recent report suggested that the number of lymph nodes examined was a strong predictor of survival in patients with lymph node-negative breast carcinoma. Among women who had >or= 20 lymph nodes examined, the risk of dying from breast carcinoma within 5 years was increased nearly 4-fold compared with women who had fewer lymph nodes examined. Because these findings were based on a relatively small cohort of patients, corroborative studies with larger patient populations were needed. METHODS: The authors studied the relation between the number of lymph nodes examined and breast carcinoma survival among 911 women with lymph node-negative breast carcinoma with a median length of follow-up of 84 months. The association between other prognostic indicators and survival and the number of lymph nodes examined also was investigated. RESULTS: The number of lymph nodes examined was not found to be associated with either 5-year or long-term survival. The proportion of women dying from breast carcinoma was the same (8%) in both groups (those patients with >or= 20 lymph nodes examined vs. those in whom < 20 lymph nodes were examined) and the hazard ratio was 0.98 (95% confidence interval, 0.58-1.64). CONCLUSIONS: In this larger study population, the authors failed to confirm the findings of an earlier investigation in which having a larger number of lymph nodes examined was associated with poorer survival. This finding suggests that it is unlikely the number of lymph nodes examined is an important prognostic indicator in patients with lymph node-negative breast carcinoma.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moorman, PG; Hamza, A; Marks, JR; Olson, JA

Published Date

  • June 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 91 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2258 - 2262

PubMed ID

  • 11413513

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11413513

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0142

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0008-543X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/1097-0142(20010615)91:12<2258::aid-cncr1256>3.0.co;2-v

Language

  • eng