Margins in breast conserving surgery: A practice-changing process

I. T. Rubio, M. Ahmed, T. Kovacs, V. Marco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Margins in breast conserving surgery (BCS) have been a long standing subject debate. This largely arises from the absence of a consensus on what constitutes an adequate margin width, resulting in re-excision rates of 25-40% for close or positive margins and its consequent impact upon cosmesis, economic costs, patient dissatisfaction and lack of bearing on survival. Accepting that the increased risk of local recurrences (LR) has its influence on survival, the decrease in LR in BCS in the last decade have been motivated by better surgical techniques for assessing negative margins, use of targeted therapies and in general with the multimodal treatment in the management of breast cancer patients. Since the publication of the consensus guidelines on margins there has evolved a trend of changing attitudes towards re-excision. Surgeons are considering margins in the context of all factors including not only patient and tumor characteristics but also the regional and systemic treatment the patient is receiving.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-640
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast conserving surgery
  • Margins


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