BACKGROUND: Whether intraoperative analgesics have an impact on postoperative cancer recurrence is unknown. Some investigations suggest that the opioids could favor relapse and that regional analgesia and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs could improve cancer prognosis. We retrospectively reviewed our series of breast cancer surgery patients.
METHODS: This retrospective study included 327 consecutive women who underwent mastectomy with axillary dissection for breast cancer. The main objective was to compare the incidence of cancer recurrence among patients who received different analgesics during surgery.
RESULTS: Perioperative characteristics, cancer prognostic factors, and the length of surgery were comparable regardless of the analgesics administered. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed a lower cancer recurrence rate when ketorolac was given before surgery (P = 0.019). Other analgesics (sufentanil, ketamine, and clonidine) were not associated with a significant reduction in cancer recurrence rates in our series.
CONCLUSION: This retrospective analysis suggests that intraoperative administration of ketorolac decreases the risk of breast cancer relapse compared with other analgesícs.