On the basis of Independent clinical and pathological screens, mastectomy patients can be effictively classified into high-risk and low-risk groups for neoplastic involvement of the nipple-areolar complex. Clinical criteria included gross nipple signs, cutaneous signs, and tumor location, size, and bilaterality. Pathological criteria comprised subareolar involvement, multicenytricity, and nodal involvement.
Fifty consecutive women undergoing masectomy for cancer at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center underwent classification into high-risk and low-risk groups on the basis of these criteria. Fifty four percent of the patients studied passed the screens and were included in the low-risk group. The incidence of nipple involvement in this group was 0. In the remaining 46%, failing either or both of the screens and constituting the high-risk group, the incidence of neoplastic involvement of the nipple was 35%. All involved nipples fell into this group.
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