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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1997 Aug;45(1):7-14.

Lumpectomy or mastectomy? Is breast conserving surgery too expensive?

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Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Tromsø, Norway.


In the last decade, breast cancer patients have enjoyed an increase in breast conserving surgery (BCS). At present, modified radical mastectomy (MRM) and BCS offers equal expectations of survival. During the last few years, however, a drop in the frequency of BCS has been reported by several authors. Is this new trend due to economic concerns? To clarify the costs of breast cancer therapy (stage I and II), we review the literature and include a cost-utility and a cost-minimisation analysis comparing MRM and BCS. The treatment cost (per patient) of BCS and MRM in Norway was calculated at $9,564 and $5,596, respectively. Employing a quality of life gain in BCS of 0.03 (0-1 scale) and a 5% discount rate, the cost per QALY in BCS compared to MRM was $20,508. In cost-minimising analysis, BCS and mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery had a cost of $10,748 and $8,538, respectively. This indicates that BCS remains within reasonable cost and should not be displaced by mastectomy on economic grounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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