To evaluate the prognostic significance of established clinical, histological, and biochemical factors, we examined the survival data of 551 node-negative breast cancer patients. At a median follow-up of 5 years, we found 114 recurrences, 79 of them at distant sites. 41 patients died. 84 patients with less than 8 examined lymph nodes, adjuvant systemic treatment, or treatment differing from standard procedures, had a statistically significant shorter overall survival and were excluded from further analysis. With regard to relapse-free and overall survival univariate and multivariate analyses of the remaining 467 patients revealed only few factors with prognostic significance. In multivariate analysis of overall survival by the Cox regression model, statistically significant prognostic value was limited to three factors: lymphangiosis carcinomatosa (relative risk 4.8, 95%-confidence interval 2.0-11.7), postmenopausal status (0.38, 0.17-0.84), and positive progesterone receptor status (0.37, 0.14-1.0). In addition, there was a trend (p = 0.075) of prolonged survival in patients with Bloom and Richardson grade I cancers. The few prognostic factors found were able to identify patients with very good, as well as very bad prognosis. However, for the majority of node-negative breast cancer patients, estimation of prognosis remains unsatisfactory. Therefore, further independent prognostic factors are necessary.