Fast Five Quiz: The Recurrence Risks for Breast Cancer

Elwyn C. Cabebe, MD; Stefania Morganti, MD


February 06, 2023

For patients with stage I or II invasive cancers after breast-conserving surgery, a positive margin is defined as "ink on tumor" (any invasive cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ cells on ink). In these cases, further surgery — either a re-excision to achieve a negative margin or a mastectomy — is generally required. Conversely, the routine practice to obtain negative margin widths wider than no ink on tumor is not indicated, as it does not reduce the risk for local recurrence.


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