Reconstructive Breast Surgery Rates Low in Canada
A low rate of breast reconstruction among women who have had a mastectomy may be due to a lack of knowledge about the procedure by referring physicians, says a University of Toronto study.
Breast reconstruction can have a positive impact on a woman's quality of life after a mastectomy, but the overall rate of reconstruction in Canada is low at 7.9 percent. The study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that referring physicians (family physicians, general surgeons or oncologists) rated their level of knowledge of reconstructive breast surgery as low; plastic surgeons rated the referring physicians' knowledge as even lower.
For example, despite evidence to the contrary, more than one-third of referring physicians believe breast reconstruction delays the detection of cancer recurrence and adversely interferes with cancer therapy. The study's findings were based on focus groups, surveys and interviews of Ontario primary care physicians, general surgeons, oncologists and plastic surgeons.