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01.06.2011 | Reconstructive Oncology | Ausgabe 6/2011

Annals of Surgical Oncology 6/2011

Receipt of Delayed Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy: Do Women Revisit the Decision?

Annals of Surgical Oncology > Ausgabe 6/2011
MD, MPH Amy K. Alderman, PhD Sarah T. Hawley, MD Monica Morrow, MSW, MS Barbara Salem, PhD, MA Ann Hamilton, PhD, MS John J. Graff, MD, MPH Steven Katz
Wichtige Hinweise
The ideas and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s), and endorsement by the State of California, Department of Public Health the National Cancer Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or their Contractors and Subcontractors is not intended nor should be inferred.



Postmastectomy breast reconstruction is an important component of breast cancer care, but few receive it at the time of the mastectomy. Virtually nothing is known about receipt of reconstruction after initial cancer therapy and why treatment might be delayed.

Materials and Methods

A 5-year follow-up survey was mailed to a population-based cohort of mastectomy-treated breast cancer patients who were initially surveyed at time of diagnosis in 2002 and reported to the Los Angeles and Detroit SEER registries (N = 645, response rate 60%). Outcomes were receipt of reconstruction (immediate [IR], delayed [DR], or none) and patient appraisal of their treatment decisions.


About one-third (35.9%) had IR, 11.5% had DR, and 52.6% had no reconstruction. One-third delayed reconstruction because they focused more on other cancer interventions, and nearly half were concerned about surgical complications and interference with cancer surveillance. Two-thirds of those with no reconstruction said that the procedure was not important to them. A large proportion of all patients were satisfied with their reconstruction decision-making (89.4% IR, 78.4% DR, 80.4% no reconstruction, P = NS). However, only 59.3% of those with no reconstruction felt that they were adequately informed about their reconstructive options (vs 82.7% IR and 78.4% DR, P < .01).


There was modest uptake of breast reconstruction after initial cancer treatment. Factors associated with delayed reconstruction were primarily related to uncertainty about the procedure, concern about cancer surveillance, and low priority. Those without reconstruction demonstrated significant informational needs, which should be addressed with future research efforts.

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