Routinely available indicators of prognosis in breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1998;51(3):195-208. doi: 10.1023/a:1006122716137.


Diagnosis coupled with prognostication is the challenge for and charge of the pathologist. In this time of rapidly developing basic knowledge and increasing sophistication in the evaluation of prognostic information, there has also been an important re-evaluation of the validity, reliability, and relevance of classic histopathology. Also, the precision of and criteria for evaluating tumor size and status of regional lymph nodes is under study. Our emphasis in this review is tissue pathology and further, its practical relevance to patient management. Histopathology remains the basis of diagnosis universally; the addition of other elements will increase precision of prediction, particularly of responsiveness to individual therapies. Histologic grade may be integrated to substratify high and low stage cases into prognostically more useful subsets. Histologic types also interact with size and nodal status to predict patients with excellent prognosis. Further refinement of these parameters may occur by analysis within clinical, pathologic, or therapeutic subsets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor