Preoperative staging of primary breast cancer. A multicentric study

Cancer. 1988 Mar 1;61(5):1038-40. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19880301)61:5<1038::aid-cncr2820610530>;2-z.


This article reports on a consecutive series of 3627 breast cancer (BC) patients undergoing preoperative staging by chest x-ray (CXR), bone x-ray (BXR) or bone scintigraphy (BS), and liver ecography (LE) or liver scintigraphy (LS). The detection rate (DR) of preclinical asymptomatic distant metastases depended on the T and N category (TNM classification system), and was very low (CXR: 0.30%, BXR: 0.64%, BS: 0.90%, LE: 0.24%, LS: 0.23%). The sensitivity, determined after a 6-month follow-up, was below 0.50% for all tests. The highest value (0.48%) was recorded for BS, which also had the lowest specificity (0.95%). The entire preoperative staging policy using the studied tests seems questionable due to poor sensitivity and an extremely low DR of distant metastases.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Preoperative Care
  • Retrospective Studies