Surgeons play big role in women's choices for breast cancer care

A breast cancer patient's choice of surgeon can have a major effect on her treatment, according to a new study.

That's because surgeons have a strong influence on whether early stage cancer patients have both breasts removed even when cancer is found in only one breast — a procedure called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM).

Researchers surveyed more than 3,300 women with early stage breast cancer and 349 surgeons who treated them. About 16 percent of the patients had both breasts removed.

Only 4 percent of those whose surgeons heavily favored breast-saving surgery and were most reluctant to remove both breasts had the procedure. That compared to 34 percent of patients whose surgeons were most willing to do the surgery, the study found.

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Written by Laura Pearson for The Chicago Tribune

(HealthDay)

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