More Women Choose Mastectomy

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

The findings of a recent study suggestthat women diagnosed with breast cancerwould rather have a mastectomy over alumpectomy when they have control overthe treatment options. The results of thestudy, which surveyed 1844 women in theLos Angeles and Detroit areas with breastcancer, showed that it is often patients, andnot their surgeons, who opt for mastectomies.

As part of the study, the women wereasked whether they made the choice tohave surgery, whether their physician did, orwhether both did, and what options werediscussed. The researchers found that,among Caucasian women, who made up70% of the sample, 27% said that theychose a mastectomy, compared with 5.3%who reported that their surgeon made thesurgical decision and 16.8% who said thatthe decision was mutual.

African American women had differentresults, and they tended to seek more surgeons' opinions and to make their decisionslater. In this group, 30.2% had a mastectomyas their initial treatment. Of thosewomen, 41% said that they made the surgicaldecision, compared with 37.1% who saidthat the decision was shared and 21.9%who reported that the surgeon made thedecision with or without their input. Reportingin the Journal of Clinical Oncology(August 2005), the researchers said that thewomen who chose a mastectomy may havedone so because it is a more complete treatmentand they fear cancer recurrence.