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Cancer. 2006 Apr 1;106(7):1462-6.

Factors associated with surgical options for breast carcinoma.

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  • 1Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of Louisville, KY, USA.



Breast conservation surgery (BCS) and mastectomy have equivalent survival outcomes for women with breast carcinoma, but treatment decisions are affected by many factors. The current study evaluated the impact of patient and physician factors on surgical decision-making.


Statistical analyses were performed on a prospective multicenter study of patients with invasive breast carcinoma. Patient, physician, and geographic factors were considered.


Of 4086 patients, BCS was performed in 2762 (67.6%) and mastectomy was performed in 1324 (32.4%). The median tumor size was 1.5 cm (range, < 0.1-9.0 cm) in patients undergoing BCS and 1.9 cm (range, 0.1-11.0 cm) in patients undergoing mastectomy (P < 0.00001). The median age of patients undergoing BCS was 59 years (range, 27-100 yrs), whereas patients who underwent mastectomy were older (median age of 63 yrs, range, 27-96 yrs [P < 0.00001]). Physicians in academic practices performed more lumpectomies than those who were not in an academic practice (70.9% vs. 65.7%; P = 0.001). More breast conservation procedures were performed by surgeons with a higher percentage of breast practice (P = 0.012). Geographic location was found to be significant, with the Northeast having the highest rate of breast conservation (70.8%) and the Southeast having the lowest (63.2%; P = 0.002). On multivariate analysis, patient age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.455; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.247-1.699 [P < 0.001]), tumor size (P < 0.001), tumor palpability (OR: 0.613; 95% CI, 0.524-0.716 [P < 0.001]), histologic subtype (P = 0.018), tumor location in the breast (P < 0.001), physician academic affiliation (OR: 1.193; 95% CI: 1.021-1.393 [P = 0.026]), and geographic location (P = 0.045) were found to be significant.


Treatment decisions were found to be related to patient clinicopathologic features, surgeon academic affiliation, and geographic location. Future studies will elucidate the communication and psychosocial factors that may influence patient decision-making.

Copyright 2006 American Cancer Society.

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