Purpose: The incidence rate and the rate of early breast cancer diagnosis has improved. This study evaluated the prognosis for patients with small-sized, T1 breast cancer. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted based on 333 patients diagnosed with T1 breast cancer ≤2 cm in diameter. The patients were further subdivided into categories of T1a/T1b (≤1cm tumor size) or T1c (>1 cm, but ≤2 cm tumor size). Results: Axillary lymph node metastasis was found with greater frequency in the T1c compared to the T1ab group (27.9% vs. 17.6% of patients; not statistically significant). Lympho-vascular invasion was found with a statistically significantly greater frequency in the T1c compared to the T1ab group (29.2% vs. 16.2%, p=0.004). An increase in tumor size is a poor prognostic factor that lead to increased disease recurrence or decreased survival in patients with T1 breast cancer. Conclusion: Axillary lymph node metastasies and lympho-vascular invasion were found to be poor prognosis factors in patients with small-sized, T1 breast cancer. These prognostic factors occurred more frequently in the T1c group than in the T1ab group. An increase in tumor size is a poor prognostic factor even in small-sized breast cancer.
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