Breast cancer recurrence after reoperation for surgical bleeding. BJS 2017; 104: 1665-1674.

Published: 7th August 2017

Authors: R. N. Pedersen, K. Bhaskaran, U. Heide‐Jørgensen, M. Nørgaard, P. M. Christiansen, N. Kroman et al.


Bleeding activates platelets that can bind tumour cells, potentially promoting metastatic growth in patients with cancer. This study investigated whether reoperation for postoperative bleeding is associated with breast cancer recurrence.


Using the Danish Breast Cancer Group database and the Danish National Patient Register (DNPR), a cohort of women with incident stage I–III breast cancer, who underwent breast‐conserving surgery or mastectomy during 1996–2008 was identified. Information on reoperation for bleeding within 14 days of the primary surgery was retrieved from the DNPR. Follow‐up began 14 days after primary surgery and continued until breast cancer recurrence, death, emigration, 10 years of follow‐up, or 1 January 2013. Incidence rates of breast cancer recurrence were calculated and Cox regression models were used to quantify the association between reoperation and recurrence, adjusting for potential confounders. Crude and adjusted hazard ratios according to site of recurrence were calculated.


Among 30 711 patients (205 926 person‐years of follow‐up), 767 patients had at least one reoperation within 14 days of primary surgery, and 4769 patients developed breast cancer recurrence. Median follow‐up was 7·0 years. The incidence of recurrence was 24·0 (95 per cent c.i. 20·2 to 28·6) per 1000 person‐years for reoperated patients and 23·1 (22·5 to 23·8) per 1000 person‐years for non‐reoperated patients. The overall adjusted hazard ratio was 1·06 (95 per cent c.i. 0·89 to 1·26). The estimates did not vary by site of breast cancer recurrence.


In this large cohort study, there was no evidence of an association between reoperation for bleeding and breast cancer recurrence.

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