Journal Article

Breast Cellulitis Following Breast Conservation Therapy: A Novel Complication of Medical Progress

Kristan R. Mertz, Larry M. Baddour, John L. Bell and John L. Gwin

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 481-486
Published in print February 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online February 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/516322
Breast Cellulitis Following Breast Conservation Therapy: A Novel Complication of Medical Progress

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Breast cellulitis is a novel complication of the recently accepted practice of breast conservation therapy. This phenomenon represents an anatomic shift from ipsilateral upper extremity cellulitis seen in past years when mastectomy with axillary lymph node dissection was performed for treatment of limited disease due to breast cancer. Thirteen episodes of breast cellulitis in nine women who underwent breast conservation therapy for stage I or II breast cancer are presented. The mean duration from the end of radiotherapy to the initial episode of cellulitis was 4.9 months. Eightythree percent of episodes occurred in patients who had radiologically demonstrated fluid collections at the surgical lumpectomy site prior to the onset of cellulitis. Eight (61.5%) of 13 episodes occurred within 3 months of a follow-up mammogram of the treated breast. Two patients developed recurrent cellulitis within a 6-month period. Breast cellulitis may be more commonly seen in clinical practice as an increasing number of patients undergo breast-sparing procedures for treatment of limited disease due to cancer.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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