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Does surgical approach impact overall survival for young women with breast cancer?

July 06, 2022
Women's Health
From the July 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Our recent study adds to the literature by providing data from a relatively large cohort of patients in a prospectively collected database. We found that even though survival outcomes do not differ between mastectomy and breast conservation in young women with breast cancer, younger women tend to undergo more extensive surgical procedures. In addition, other recent studies demonstrate young women who choose breast conservation report higher rates of breast satisfaction, psychosocial and sexual well-being. This discrepancy highlights the critical importance of counseling regarding outcomes and the potential long-term impact surgery may have on a patient’s quality of life.

The care of young women with breast cancer is multifaceted and demands a team of experts across disciplines. These women face unique challenges during breast cancer treatment including premature menopause, impaired fertility, and the psychosocial consequences resulting from prolonged survivorship. We recognize that the decision regarding surgical approach is complicated, and treatment should be individualized based upon the consideration of multiple factors. Our goal is to provide these women with evidence-based recommendations, while empowering them to participate in their own cancer care.

Dr. Christine V. Pestana
Ultimately, final decisions should be the result of shared decision-making, with a focus on oncologic safety and quality of life. We are on a mission to encourage proactive treatment and to offer the most advanced multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer patients. We hope to influence young women with breast cancer in our immediate community, and ultimately, those who live outside the Levine Cancer Institute footprint.

About the author: Dr. Christine V. Pestana, is a breast surgical oncology fellow at Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute.

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