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Surgeon's Attitude Affects Breast Reconstruction Advice

Nearly one-third of surgeons in Japanese survey did not give information to patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Breast surgeons who have reservations about reconstructive surgery are less likely to give information about the procedure to their breast cancer patients, according to the results of a Japanese study published in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Miyako Takahashi, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Tokyo and colleagues mailed questionnaires to 1,313 board-certified Japanese breast surgeons regarding their information-giving behavior and their attitudes with regard to breast reconstructive surgery.

The investigators found that 31.3 percent of the 635 respondents did not give information about breast reconstruction surgery when explaining breast cancer treatment options. Others selectively chose to give information based on a patient's age and marital status. Surgeons who agreed with statements that the procedure may "delay the detection of local recurrence" or is "not worth the cost and effort" given the aesthetic results were more likely to not give reconstruction-related information to their patients.

"Surgeons need to be aware of the adverse effect that their own attitudes and values with regard to breast reconstruction may have on a patient's ability to choose treatment options," the authors conclude.

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