In a retrospective study of 126 cases of infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma of the breast the percentage area of sections of each neoplasm occupied by malignant cells was assessed by morphometry. The duration of postoperative survival was related to the area occupied by tumour cells within a neoplasm; the greater the tumour cell area to stroma the more prolonged the survival. This variable seemed to be independent of histological grade and was of greater prognostic importance than the diameter of the neoplasm. Furthermore, combination of percentage of tumour area with histological grade provided greater information on the survival characteristics of these patients. Extensive tumour necrosis was a particularly poor prognostic feature.
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