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Study examines rate of reconstructions among stage IV breast cancer patients

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Because stage IV breast cancer is so serious, breast reconstructions (BRs) after surgery for advanced metastatic cancer are rare. However, considering the improving odds of survival for women with the disease, BRs for cancer of this nature are becoming more common.

Recently, researchers at the UK's Royal Marsden Hospital asked 104 British breast surgeons about the viability of BR operations among women with stage IV breast cancer.

More than 70 percent of the respondents, all of whom were members of the Association of Breast Surgeons or the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, said that they would offer such patients an immediate or delayed BR.

The most commonly suggested method for recreating breast tissue among women with stage IV cancer was latissimus dorsi flap surgery, which uses muscle from a woman's back to recreate a breast beneath her pectoral skin.

Among the minority of doctors who would not offer BRs to late-stage cancer patients, the most often cited reason was the disease's poor outlook.

The National Cancer Institute states that the five-year survival rate for stage IV breast cancer is approximately 23 percent.

C.A.T. Durranta, M. Khatiba, F. MacNeillb, S. Jamesa and P. Harris. Mastectomy and reconstruction in stage IV breast cancer: A survey of UK breast and plastic surgeons. The Breast. 2011 Mar 2. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960977611000452 Accessed May 27, 2011.

SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Breast. National Cancer Institute. http://www.seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html Accessed May 27, 2011.

Extract: Because stage IV breast cancer is so serious, breast reconstructions (BRs) after surgery for advanced metastatic cancer are rare. However, considering the improving odds of survival for women with the disease, BRs for cancer of this nature are becoming more common.

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