PURPOSE: The locoregional recurrence (LRR) in breast cancer, without distant metastasis has traditionally been regarded as a predictor of subsequent distant metastasis. This study was designed to attain the survival rate, disease progress in patients with a LRR only and to approve a locoregional treatment able to increase the survival in specific locoregional recurrent breast cancer. METHODS: The records of 223 patients with LRR, after initial treatment at the Asan Medical Center, between 1989 and 2003, were retrospectively reviewed. The patients were classified into the LRR only and simultaneous distant metastasis groups with the LRR group subdivided into the operable and inoperable groups. The data were analyzed using SPSS 11.0. RESULTS: There were 152 and 71 patients in the LRR only and simultaneous distant metastasis groups respectively: 105 patients in the LRR only group were operable cases. The 5-year survival rate of LRR was 42.5%, but this was 50.1% in the LRR only group. The 5-year survival rates following a recurrence in the operable and inoperable groups were 66.2% and 21.1%. On multivariate analysis, age at the primary surgery, tumor size, hormone receptor status and DFI were independent prognostic factors for survival. The operable group indicated less tumor size at the primary surgery, less lymph node metastasis and more chest wall or axillary lymph node recurrences, compared to the inoperable group. CONCLUSION: In some of the LRR only cases, the survival rate was relatively good, especially in the operable group. Age at the primary surgery, tumor size, hormone receptor status and DFI were independent prognostic factors for survival. Surgical treatment could be resulted in good responses to the LRR patients with early stage or chest wall or axillary recurrences.