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BMC Public Health. 2009 Jul 17;9:246. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-246.

Why do Asian-American women have lower rates of breast conserving surgery: results of a survey regarding physician perceptions.

Author information

1
Northern California Cancer Center, Fremont, California, USA. janethuypham@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

US Asian women with early-stage breast cancer are more likely to receive a modified radical mastectomy (MRM) than White women, contrary to clinical recommendations regarding breast conserving treatment (BCT).

METHODS:

We surveyed physicians regarding treatment decision-making for early-stage breast cancer, particularly as it applies to Asian patients. Physicians were identified through the population-based Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry. Eighty (of 147) physicians completed a questionnaire on sociodemographics, professional training, clinical practices, and perspectives on the treatment decision-making processes.

RESULTS:

The most important factors identified by physicians in the BCT/MRM decision were clinical in nature, including presence of multifocal disease (86% identified this as being an important factor for selecting MRM), tumor size (71% for MRM, 78% for BCT), cosmetic result (74% for BCT), and breast size (50% for MRM, 55% for BCT). The most important reasons cited for the Asian treatment patterns were patient attitudes toward not needing to preserve the breast (53%), smaller breast sizes (25%), and fear and cultural beliefs (12%).

CONCLUSION:

These survey results suggest that physicians perceive major roles of both clinical and cultural factors in the BCT/MRM decision, but cultural factors may be more relevant in explaining surgical treatment patterns among Asians.

PMID:
19615070
PMCID:
PMC2723109
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2458-9-246
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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