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Breast Cancer Surgeons Don't Discuss Reconstruction Options
Date:12/21/2007

aid Dr. Mehra Golshan, director of Breast Surgical Services at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston, who reviewed the study.

An initial meeting with a surgeon who does reconstruction will provide a woman with information on all options, "even if they decide to do [reconstruction] down the road," he said.

Like Alderman, Golshan couldn't say for sure why such a low number of surgeons referred their breast cancer patients to plastic surgeons for reconstruction discussions, but he speculated on a few possible reasons. "They may think complication rates are too high with immediate reconstruction," he said.

In truth, Golshan said, complications can be higher with immediate reconstruction if post-mastectomy radiation is required. "But not always," he said. And, "when there is no post-mastectomy radiation, the complications rates are equal between immediate reconstruction and delayed."

It's also possible that surgeons may be so focused on cancer elimination that they may not think about referring the patients for reconstruction information, Golshan added.

More information

To learn more about breast reconstruction, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.



SOURCES: Mehra Golshan, M.D., director, Breast Surgical Services, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston; Amy Alderman, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, plastic surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; Feb. 1, 2008, Cancer


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