October 14, 2009

IT'S JUST AESTHETICS:

Why 1 in 4 Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients Still Opt for Mastectomies (Deborah Kotz, 10/13/09, US News)

For more than 20 years, breast cancer patients have been overtreated with mastectomies, experts contend, instead of with breast-sparing surgery that removes just the lump and a little of the surrounding tissue. The good news is about 75 percent of women who qualify for breast-conserving surgery are getting it, according to a survey of 2,000 women published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study found that for those who still opted for total breast removal, the decision was sometimes based on a surgeon's recommendation and sometimes against medical advice. In fact, nearly 9 percent of breast cancer patients opted to get a mastectomy when their doctors didn't state a preference either way or when their doctors actually urged them to get breast-conserving surgery. "Our findings suggest that patient preferences play an important role in initial receipt of mastectomy, especially in the absence of a surgeon recommendation favoring one procedure over another," wrote the study's authors.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 14, 2009 6:52 AM
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