Breast-Conserving Surgery, Mastectomy Rates Surveyed

Breast-conserving surgery attempted in majority of intraductal, stage I and II survey cases
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is attempted in the majority of patients, with factors linked to mastectomy including surgeon recommendation, personal decision and failure of BCS, according to results of a survey published in the Oct. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Monica Morrow, M.D., from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues surveyed 1,984 patients with intraductal or stage I and II breast cancer regarding the receipt of initial mastectomy and the associated reasons, as well as the rate of mastectomy after attempting BCS.

The researchers found that 75.4 percent of patients initially had BCS. The remainder had a mastectomy based on the surgeon's recommendation in 13.4 percent of cases and personal preference in 8.8 percent of cases. About a fifth of patients sought a second opinion, which was most common in patients advised to undergo mastectomy. Among women who initially attempted BCS, 11.9 percent eventually required a mastectomy, with stage II cancer patients being the most likely.

"Breast-conserving surgery was recommended by surgeons and attempted in the majority of patients evaluated, with surgeon recommendation, patient decision, and failure of BCS all contributing to the mastectomy rate," Morrow and colleagues conclude. "Our results suggest that surgeon recommendations for surgical treatment of breast cancer in this large population-based study were sound."

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