Patient Reported Outcomes and Complication Rates from Post-Mastectomy Reconstruction

24 June 2018 Two studies have recently been published which discuss patient reported outcomes and complication rates after post-mastectomy reconstruction surgery. First a bit of background information on post-mastectomy reconstruction. The most commonly performed type of reconstruction utilizes implants. Often, a temporary tissue expander (TE) is placed by the plastic surgeon at the time of mastectomy. The TE is gradually…

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Highlights from the 2018 American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting

10 May 2018 The American Society of Breast Surgeons held their Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL from May 2nd – 6th. As usual, it was well attended – the meeting is known for being very practical and full of information that breast surgeons can bring back to their practices to help improve patient care. I’ve picked a few topics to…

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Does Breast Cancer Surgery Cause Metastatic Disease?

15 April 2018 Press coverage of a study recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine has raised a lot of eyebrows and may be causing unnecessary worry in patients. The headline in USA Today noted “Healing process after breast cancer surgery may trigger cancer to spread, study says.” Not mentioned in the headline: the study was performed in mice.…

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Breast Biopsy after Breast Cancer Treatment

31 January 2018 In women who undergo lumpectomy for breast cancer, the likelihood of another cancer developing in the treated breast can range from 0.2 – 1.0% per year, and this rate can be decreased with the addition of endocrine therapy such as tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor. The likelihood of developing a contralateral (opposite side) breast cancer is about…

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How Well Informed Do Patients Feel About Their Breast Cancer Surgery?

26 December 2017 A study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons evaluated patient perceptions regarding knowledge about their breast cancer surgery. An online survey was distributed via email to patients who had participated in previous online surveys and had agreed to be contacted again. Enrollment quotas were set for geographic area, insurance status, and income level…

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After 10 years, Less is Still More

12 September 2017 A common misconception among patients is that more aggressive surgery for breast cancer leads to better outcomes. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The standard operation for breast cancer for years (up until the 1960-70s) was the Halsted radical mastectomy, during which the breast, pectoralis muscle of the chest, and underarm lymph nodes were…

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Axillary Surgery for Early Stage Breast Cancer

9 January 2017 The American Society of Clinical Oncology recently updated their guideline on sentinel node biopsy for patients with early stage breast cancer. Axillary dissection, or removal of underarm lymph nodes, has traditionally accompanied mastectomy and lumpectomy surgery. It was initially felt that removal of these nodes was important to prevent the cancer from spreading to other areas in…

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Surgeon Recommendation a Factor in Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Decision

21 December 2016 A study published in JAMA Surgery found that in women with early stage breast cancer, a surgeon recommendation against removal of the unaffected, healthy breast (known as a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy or CPM) often led to the patient not undergoing that procedure. However, if the surgeon did not make a specific recommendation for or against the procedure,…

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SSO – ASTRO – ASCO DCIS Margin Guidelines

15 August 2016 A consensus statement was released today by the Society of Surgical Oncology,the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. It addresses the issue of surgical margins for patients undergoing breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) for ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).The press release provides a summary of the important findings. We know from many years of…

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ASBrS Issues CPM Consensus Statment

During the April 2016 meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS), a consensus conference was held to discuss contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM). CPM is the removal of the healthy, opposite breast, and the rates of CPM have been increasing, for various reasons. A patient’s decision to undergo a CPM is very difficult and is unique to each individual with breast cancer.…

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