Patient choice significantly affects mastectomy rates in the treatment of breast cancer
1 The Breast Unit, University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 6QG, UK
2 Department of Surgery, University of Keele, Keele, Staffordshire, UK
International Seminars in Surgical Oncology 2008, 5:20 doi:10.1186/1477-7800-5-20Published: 11 August 2008
Mastectomy rates may be affected by patient choice. 203 patients who had a Total Mastectomy for breast cancer were invited to complete questionnaires at routine follow up clinics to ascertain if they had been offered a choice of Breast Conserving Surgery (BCS), and to establish the reasons for their preference. Questionnaires were checked against medical and nursing records to confirm the reasons for the patients' choice of mastectomy. 130 patients (64%) chose to have a mastectomy, reporting that they felt safer (n = 119); wanted to decrease the risk of further surgery (n = 87) and/or wished to avoid radiotherapy (n = 34). Some were advised not to have BCS if they had a large tumour size, central or multifocal tumours and/or associated extensive microcalcification on mammography (n = 29). 24 patients had BCS as first operation but had repeat surgery for involved or narrow excision margins. Despite being advised that there is no difference between survival rates of this and breast conserving surgery, many patients still feel safer with mastectomy.