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There is no consensus on how long the initiation of radiotherapy (RT) can be delayed after surgery without a negative impact on survival.
Materials and methods
We conducted a retrospective study of 278 patients with stage 0–II breast cancer, all of whom were treated with surgery and RT, with those at stages I–II also receiving chemotherapy. Patients were followed-up for 5 years after diagnosis to assess disease-free and overall survival.The independent variable was the delay in the initiation of RT, assessed by two criteria: time since the last treatment, considered acceptable if ≤6 weeks, and time since surgery, considered acceptable if ≤7 months, these cut-offs being used to categorise patients into two groups according to the length of delay.
No statistically significant differences were observed in the probability of disease-free survival (p=0·412) or overall survival (p=0·890). The appearance of recurrence was 5–59 months, with an average of 38·50 (14·31).
Delaying the initiation of RT for more than 6 weeks after last treatment does not seem to have a negative impact on disease-free or overall survival.
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