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Most breast cancer surgeons don't talk to patients about reconstruction options, U-M study finds
Date:12/20/2007

better aesthetic outcomes and psychological benefits for the patient, compared to delayed reconstruction, previous studies have shown.

To many women, breast reconstruction is a symbol of hope that they can get past this cancer diagnosis. Reconstruction is not necessarily the right option for every woman and not everyone is going to choose reconstruction, but I think its important that every woman is informed of what the benefits of reconstruction can be for their physical and emotional well being, Alderman says.

The researchers urge general surgeons to include discussion of all surgical options lumpectomy, mastectomy and mastectomy with reconstruction at a point when a patient is considering her choices. General surgeons could refer patients to plastic surgeons to discuss options before the initial surgery. Decision aids should also incorporate information about reconstruction, the researchers write.

Patients need to be educated consumers of their health care. If a physician does not bring up an option, the patient needs to ask. She needs to either ask the physician to provide the information or ask for a referral to a specialist who can provide the information. Women need to be proactive about their health care, Alderman says.


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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