Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences; General Surgery


Purpose: National Comprehensive Cancer Network and European Society for Medical Oncology guidelines suggest screening for distant metastasis (M1) in symptomatic patients or those with locally advanced breast cancer. These guidelines are based on studies that often used pathologic staging for analysis. Physician variability in screening for M1 has also resulted in overuse of diagnostic tests. We sought to identify clinicopathologic features at diagnosis that could guide testing for metastatic disease.
Methods: Patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between January 2014 and December 2015 were identified from our institutional database. Demographic and clinical variables were collected, including receptor profiles and clinical TNM staging. Rates of upstaging for each clinical stage and rates of concordance of pathologic and clinical staging were analyzed. Univariate analysis and multivariate regression analysis (P < .05) identified predictors of upstaging to stage IV disease.
Results: A total of 370 patients met the inclusion criteria. Seventy patients (18.9%) had metastatic disease at diagnosis. The rate of upstaging for stages I, IIA, IIB, and III were 0%, 5.6%, 18.8%, and 36.6%, respectively. Advancing clinical stage, tumor size, and nodal status resulted in a significantly higher rate (P < .001) of upstaging to M1 disease. Age and hormone receptor status were not associated with upstaging to stage IV disease. Clinical stages I-III were concordant with pathologic staging in 65(42.8%) of 152 patients (kappa's index, 0.197; P < .000).
Conclusion: Advancing clinical stage, tumor size, and nodal status at diagnosis were predictive of upstaging to M1 disease in patients with breast cancer. Distant metastatic workup should be considered in patients with clinical stage IIB disease or higher.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

JCO Global Oncology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.