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Med J Aust. 1994 Jul 18;161(2):110-1, 114, 118 passim.

Changes in the investigation and management of primary operable breast cancer in Victoria.

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  • 1Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria, Carlton South.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the surgical practice and adjuvant therapies used in the treatment of primary operable breast cancer in Victoria in 1990 and compare them with results of a similar study in 1986.

DESIGN:

All 856 cases of primary operable breast cancer registered by the Victorian Cancer Registry between 1 April and 30 September 1990 were identified. Each patient's surgeon was sent a standard questionnaire covering diagnosis, investigations, operative procedures, adjuvant therapies and reasons for certain management choices. Data were collected on 89% of the patients from 176 participating surgeons.

RESULTS:

Most patients (82%) were referred to surgeons by general practitioners. Mammographic screening detected 14% of the cancers. The proportion of women receiving breast-conserving operations rose from 22% in 1986 to 42% in 1990. Surgeons operating on more than 20 breast cancers per annum were most likely to perform breast-conserving operations. The most common reasons given for non-conservative operations were the size of the tumour (37%), its central location (25%) and/or patient concern about the risk of recurrence if the breast was to be conserved (22%). Among these patients, reconstruction was done at the time of primary treatment in 13%, subsequently in 2%, and was planned by another 5%. Of all patients, 33% were referred to a radiation oncologist and 24% actually received radiotherapy (similar to 1986). Medical oncologists saw 33% of the patients and 20% of all patients received chemotherapy (similar to 1986), which was given by a medical oncologist in 83% of the cases. Use of endocrine therapy increased from 20% in 1986 to 40% in 1990.

CONCLUSIONS:

There has been a strong trend towards more conservative breast surgery in Victoria, with surgeons who are most active in breast cancer surgery most likely to perform breast-conserving operations. Apart from a significant increase in the use of endocrine therapy, use of adjuvant therapies was unchanged from 1986.

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PMID:
8028535
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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