Breast Conserving Treatments| Are Women Given Enough Options?

Breast conserving treatments for patients diagnosed with breast cancer continues to be a source of controversy. According to a recent article 2 new studies that were presented at the ESMO 2012 Congress in Vienna, Austria demonstrated how improvements in breast cancer treatments are creating options for women to conserve their breast following therapy; however, there are concerns whether women are being presented these alternative approaches. One surgical oncologist who was not involved in the studies commented in the article; “Clearly, advances in interdisciplinary preoperative approaches have contributed to the revolution in breast surgery that has provided huge benefits to women in the last three decades. Less invasive surgery, breast conserving approaches as standard of care, sentinel node surgery, reduced pain and hospital stays, have been achieved. Modern clinical research aims at fine-tuning and even improving these treatment strategies.” Oncologists are committed to improving the number of women offered breast conserving surgery. According to the article the women in the study who actually received breast conserving surgery were approximately 40%. The study suggests a negative undertone that could deny a large percentage of women the opportunity to preserve their breast without clinical justification for this decision. The article clearly stated that more research would need to be done as to when breast conserving surgery should be recommended as well as how often. It is important for patients to be proactive in determining all of the options that are available to them. Dr. Seify explains to his patients that the best time for Dr. Seify’s involvement is as soon as the patient learns that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. This allows Dr. Seify to determine which breast reconstruction options are most viable for the patient. There are some options that are only available at the time of the initial breast surgery. For this reason, timing can be a factor in allowing the patient to make choices for breast reconstruction. Patients who are considering breast reconstruction surgery are encouraged to contact Dr. Seify and arrange a consultation to determine which options will fit their particular situation the best.

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