A recent survey of 762 breast cancer patients found that 43% did not receive complete information about their options in breast reconstruction when making treatment decisions at diagnosis. The survey was conducted by a group called the CSC (Cancer Support Community), and it revealed that only 60% of their respondents chose breast reconstruction following a partial or full mastectomy.
Survey results showed that patients wished they had known more about the following aspects of breast reconstruction surgery:
- How they would feel after reconstruction (31%)
- How they would look after reconstruction (31%)
- Future breast health (23%)
- Details of each procedure (15%)
- Risks and benefits of reconstruction at the point of mastectomy vs. at a later point (14%)
“It is critical that women get information on breast reconstruction early on because it can be an important part of quality of life and image,” said Kim Thiboldeaux, president and CEO of the CSC, a non-profit group. “I think there is a lot of attention focused on treatment and curing cancer and sometimes in the health care system, reconstruction becomes a secondary concern,” she added.
The CSC is creating a program to deliver information about breast reconstruction to cancer patients. “Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction” will include 75 free patient education workshops scheduled to take place throughout the U.S. beginning next year.
Comprehensive patient education guides, breast reconstruction resource guides, multimedia education tools and online web content will engage women in discussions about breast reconstruction.