At Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, we recently noted a research study of breast cancer patients and their knowledge of breast reconstruction.
The study discovered some alarming gaps in patient knowledge concerning both the breast reconstruction surgical options, and the complications that might ensue after surgery.
At the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, extensive surveys were conducted in order to determine how well patients understood their options for breast reconstruction after their mastectomies.
Mastectomy and Reconstruction: Background Facts
Before viewing the study, let’s look at a few statistics behind the study:
1. We know the rate of women who elect to have breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery has risen to 36.4 percent, especially in early-stage breast cancer.
2. The rate of women choosing breast reconstruction after mastectomy has undoubtedly risen.
3. We know this general statistical rise varies and that some women express regret about choosing either to have reconstruction or avoid it.
The U.N.C. Research Method
1. The Patients: The surveyed group included 126 breast cancer patients who were planning to undergo mastectomy at the U.N.C. Cancer Hospital.
2. A Major Point: The group was mixed between women who planned to undergo reconstructive surgery and women who elected to forego it.
The doctors asked the women “questions about reconstructive surgery as well as a question about complication risk.”
The Research Scores
Results were calculated and gauged according to the test survey questions.
1. The women’s knowledge of breast reconstruction surgery was 58.5 percent. This sounds good for a scientific statistic until you realize that it means they knew only 50% of the relevant facts concerning the surgery.
2. Seventy percent of participants got at least 50 percent of the questions correct.
The Results and Conclusions:
The scientists discovered that many patients who had faced cancer and mastectomy had been only moderately informed about the procedures of breast reconstruction. Many of the patients also demonstrated a very low knowledge of complications.
What the UNC Research Proves
“Breast reconstructive surgery can help a breast cancer survivor feel more whole and recover from the surgery,” said Clara Lee, MD, a UNC Lineberger member and an associate professor in the
UNC School of Medicine.
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Then she added, astutely, “Breast reconstructive surgery has a great potential benefit but it has to be considered alongside the disadvantages, including the risks of complications.”
At Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, we feel the ultimate value of this study is that the UNC research study has “uncovered a need to better inform breast cancer patients about the pros and cons of breast reconstructive surgery among women undergoing mastectomy.”
For our patients, we fill that need. We have always taken great pride in our consultations with breast cancer patients.
With care and compassion, our doctors and staff will be certain you are well-informed about your options. We are committed to answering all your questions about reconstructive breast surgery. We will empower you to make an informed decision, based on your individual medical case, your general health and your personal preferences.
We will connect with you and your goals as well as with your surgeon’s, oncologist’s or primary physician’s data and advice. We won’t let you become an uninformed statistic or make a fifty per cent blind decision like some of the women in the above study.
Orlando Cosmetic Surgery brings you …Connection… Compassion…and Care…