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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999 May;103(6):1674-81.

A cohort study of breast cancer risk in breast reduction patients.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Toronto, and Cancer Care Ontario, Canada.


Surgical reduction of the female breast (reduction mammaplasty) is very common in plastic surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine whether women who have undergone breast reduction surgery are at the same, greater, or lesser risk of developing breast cancer than women who have not undergone breast reduction surgery. This study incorporates a population-based, non-concurrent cohort linkage methodology. The Canadian Institute for Health Information hospital records were used to identify all Ontario women who had undergone breast reduction surgery in Ontario between 1979 and 1992. Three computerized probabilistic record linkages were performed. The first linkage was between a file of the 28,042 Ontario women who had undergone bilateral breast reduction surgery between April 1, 1979, and December 31, 1992, and a file of incident cancer cases among Ontario women for the calendar period 1979 to 1993. Follow-up of the cohort was undertaken starting from the date of breast reduction surgery, and vital status was ascertained as of December 31, 1993, by record linkage with the Ontario Mortality Database maintained at the Ontario Cancer Registry. The incidence of cancer in the Ontario breast reduction cohort was compared with the cancer incidence of the general Ontario population after appropriate adjustments for age and calendar time period. The expected number of cancers was calculated using the "PERSON YEARS" computer program. Within the cohort, followed for an average of 6.5 years after bilateral breast reduction surgery, 101 breast cancers were observed and 165.8 were expected, for a standardized incidence ratio of 0.61 (0.50 to 0.74, 95 percent confidence interval). This effect was independent of patient age at breast reduction. This study demonstrates that there is no increased risk of breast cancer after bilateral breast reduction surgery and, in fact, a significant decreased risk existed in women followed for an average of 6.5 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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