Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Should Breast Tissue Be Screened For Cancer After Cosmetic Surgery?

Date:
March 10, 2009
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Young women undergoing cosmetic breast reduction surgery are being screened for cancer without their informed consent, according to a new article.

Young women undergoing cosmetic breast reduction surgery are being screened for cancer without their informed consent, according to a paper published on the British Medical Journal website.

Related Articles


Breast reduction surgery (mammoplasty) is one of the most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons all around the world. For decades it has been common practice to test the removed tissue for cancer.

The incidence of cancer found after surgery is small and often clinically insignificant. But, if found, it can lead to further surgery of unproven benefit. So should the current practice of routinely testing tissue after surgery be abandoned, or should doctors discuss this issue in advance with the patient and ensure that they are aware of the possible consequences?

A team of breast surgeons based at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust and Royal Free and University College Medical School in London describe finding cancer after a routine cosmetic operation on a 37 year old woman. The discovery led to a succession of further operations, but the team question the ethics of acting on test results when there is no evidence for benefit.

They also point out that it is often not possible to identify exactly where in the breast the tissue came from because tissue specimens are not orientated during surgery.

In an accompanying commentary, Tom Treasure, a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at University College London suggests that the question of what is the best management of a patient with these findings in the future remains unanswered. "Not putting the tissue under the microscope may seem unacceptable," he writes, "but so is continuing surgical practices that may result in harm, without having evidence of benefit."

In a second commentary, ethicist Jeremy Sugarman suggests that even though the likelihood of the specimens being malignant is small, discussing this issue in advance should help to prepare patients to receive the news and to face the complex decisions that follow. He believes that this matter warrants careful, expert review. In the meantime, he suggests that obtaining informed consent for screening and orientating these specimens should help to mitigate some of the difficult ethical issues that are encountered in practice.

Like any potential patient, I welcome any procedures made to safeguard my health and would appreciate being informed of every aspect (and associated risk) of an operation. I would not appreciate being left in the dark, writes Tessa Boase, in a final commentary. She believes that the current practice of screening of breast tissue after reduction mammoplasty should be maintained and perhaps refined, but the patient should, from start to finish, be kept in the loop. "Who else, after all, is this screening supposed to benefit?" she says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Should Breast Tissue Be Screened For Cancer After Cosmetic Surgery?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310221822.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2009, March 10). Should Breast Tissue Be Screened For Cancer After Cosmetic Surgery?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310221822.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Should Breast Tissue Be Screened For Cancer After Cosmetic Surgery?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310221822.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins