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J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2001 Sep;10(7):659-70.

Correlates of surgical treatment type for women with noninvasive and invasive breast cancer.

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Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0376, USA.


There is concern that breast-conserving surgery is underused in some breast cancer patient subpopulations, including women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an early-stage form of the disease. We conducted a population-based study to identify correlates of surgical treatment type and patient satisfaction, comparing women with DCIS and those with invasive disease. We used telephone interview and mailed survey of 183 women recently diagnosed with breast cancer (oversampling for women with DCIS), identified from the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System (response rate 71.2%). Overall, 52.5% of study subjects received a mastectomy (48.9%, 45.8%, and 73.5% of women with DCIS, local disease, and regional disease, respectively, p < 0.05). One third of women did not perceive that they were given a choice between surgical types, and an additional one third of women received a surgeon recommendation, most of whom received the treatment recommended. Patient attitudes, such as concerns about the clinical benefits and risks of specific surgery options, were important correlates of treatment choice but did not vary by stage of disease. Knowledge about differences in clinical benefits and risks between surgery options was low. Finally, satisfaction with the decision-making process was significantly lower in women who did not perceive a choice between surgery options. Correlates of breast cancer surgery type appeared to be similar for women with DCIS and invasive breast cancer, with surgeons playing a dominant role in the process. Results also suggested that the decision-making process may be as important for patient satisfaction as the treatment chosen.

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