Service de radiothérapie-cancérologie, Centre hospitalier Lyon-Sud, 69495 Pierre-Bénite Cedex.
Cancer is still considered from a physiopathological point of view as a disease of the cell. This concept is underlying the idea of cure. Treatment with curative intent should aim at eradicating all the tumoral cells. Local control is mandatory and essential in cancers localized in organ with vital function. In breast cancer a complex and controversial relationship exists between local relapse and increased risk of fatal distant metastasis. In case of organ preserving treatment, a complete local control is necessary from the start. If a too high risk of local relapse is foreseable, conservative treatment should not be recommended.