Study shows breast cancer patients unaware of treatment options
Jan 20, 2012
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that many breast cancer patients are uninformed about their options when it comes to treatment, and do not remember being asked if they had a preference one way or the other.
The researchers surveyed 440 people, and less than half (46 percent) knew that local recurrence risk is higher after a lumpectomy than after mastectomy. In addition, 56 percent knew about the survival rates for both.
"We found that breast cancer survivors had fairly major gaps in their knowledge about their surgical options, including about the implications for recurrence and survival," said study lead author Dr. Clara Lee, an associate professor of surgery and director of surgical research at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. This disease is not only the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women, behind lung cancer, but it is the second most common form of cancer among women, following only skin cancer.