Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surgeons, health care settings influence type of breast cancer surgery women undergo

Date:
April 30, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
Breast cancer is one of the few major illnesses for which physicians may not recommend a specific treatment option. North American women are more likely to opt for precautionary breast surgery when physicians don't specifically counsel against it, according to a new study. The research also demonstrates how clarity during consultations and the capability of clinical facilities also play important roles influencing a woman's breast cancer treatment choices.

Breast cancer is one of the few major illnesses for which physicians may not recommend a specific treatment option. North American women are more likely to opt for precautionary breast surgery when physicians don't specifically counsel against it, according to a new study.

Related Articles


The research, presented today at the American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, also demonstrates how clarity during consultations and the capability of clinical facilities also play important roles influencing a woman's breast cancer treatment choices.

There is more than one type of preventative breast surgery but this study looked only at cases where cancer has been diagnosed in only one breast. This form prophylactic breast surgery, called a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, entails removing the healthy breast at the same time as the cancerous breast. The procedure can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancers and in women who have a genetic mutation that makes breast cancer more likely.

"While effective for such groups," explained Dr. Andrea Covelli, lead author and a University of Toronto general surgery resident whose research work was supervised by Dr. Nancy Baxter of St. Michael's Hospital. "The number of prophylactic mastectomies across North America has risen among women without these underlying conditions -- among women who have only an average risk of developing cancer in their non-cancerous breast."

Previous national studies have shown that instances of prophylactic breast surgery among early-stage, average risk women have increased nearly twelvefold in the United States over the last decade. In Canada, rates increased by 140 per cent between 2008 and 2010.

Dr. Covelli interviewed 45 surgeons in North America to identify factors that determine the course of treatment.

In the United States, some states legislate that surgeons present all treatment options to patients. The research found that surgeons complied in the 20 states with such legislation but generally surgeons did not recommend one procedure over another. Instead, they encouraged patient choice. Canadian surgeons discussed similar surgical options with their patients. However, they more often specifically recommended breast-conserving surgery and counseled against prophylactic mastectomies.

"We learned that surgeon's recommendations and detailed consultations influenced women's decisions for breast cancer treatment," said Dr. Covelli. "Consultations were especially important when it came to MRI findings. When MRI results were presented without detailed explanations, women were more likely to opt for prophylactic mastectomies."

MRI exams have a high rate of false-positive results so patients who were given their exam results without detailed explanations were often concerned about new disease in addition to the recently diagnosed tumour.

Findings show that MRI exams were ordered less frequently in Canada than in the United States. It also showed that Canada's surgeons often had more opportunity to discuss potential for inaccuracies with patients.

If women were being treated at health care facilities with access to immediate reconstruction, they were also more likely to choose prophylactic surgery.

"The availability of immediate breast reconstruction was another main factor in patients' decisions," said Dr. Covelli.

Immediate reconstruction was associated with the choice of prophylactic mastectomy and is more widely available in the United States than in Canada. In both countries, many patients requested a prophylactic mastectomy after returning from a consult with a reconstructive surgeon.

"We need to look at what happens during that consult to better understand patient decision-making," said Dr. Covelli. "Patients should ask for their doctor's opinion if helpful to them. Most surgeons have years of experience treating breast cancer and can provide valuable counsel and advice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Surgeons, health care settings influence type of breast cancer surgery women undergo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430121108.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2014, April 30). Surgeons, health care settings influence type of breast cancer surgery women undergo. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430121108.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Surgeons, health care settings influence type of breast cancer surgery women undergo." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430121108.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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