Findings run contrary to studies noting an increase in mastectomy rates

-- Monica Smith

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 (Last Updated: 06/16/2010)

TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Although several single-institution studies have reported an increase in mastectomy rates in the past decade, unilateral mastectomy rates appear to have decreased from 2000 to 2006, according to a population-based analysis published online June 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Elizabeth B. Habermann, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to analyze data on 233,754 women with ductal carcinoma in situ or with stage I to III unilateral cancer undergoing surgical treatment. They evaluated differences in mastectomy rates, while taking into account demographics and tumor factors, to get a sense of national trends in the surgical treatment of breast cancer.

Across both patient and tumor characteristics, the researchers found that the rate of unilateral mastectomy dropped from 40.8 to 37.0 percent between 2000 and 2006. Though the rate of unilateral mastectomy declined over the study period, the rate of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy increased.

"In contrast to single-institution studies, our population-based analysis found a decrease in unilateral mastectomy rates from 2000 to 2006 in the United States. Variations in referral patterns and patient selection are potential explanations for these differences between single institutions and national trends," the authors write.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
OBGYN & Women's Health

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