Decision-making in breast cancer surgery: Where do patients go for information?

Hank Schmidt, Almog Cohen, John Mandeli, Christina Weltz, Elisa R. Port

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Patient decision-making regarding breast cancer surgery is multifactorial, and patients derive information on surgical treatment options from a variety of sources which may have an impact on choice of surgery. We investigated the role of different information sources in patient decisionmaking regarding breast cancer surgery. Two hundred and sixty-eight patients with breast cancer, eligible for breast-conserving therapy were surveyed in the immediate preoperative period, and clinical data were also collected. This survey evaluated the scope and features of patient-driven research regarding their ultimate choice of surgical treatment. The two most common sources of information used by patients were written material from surgeons (199/268-74%) and the Internet (184/268-69%). There was a trend for women who chose bilateral mastectomy to use the Internet more frequently than those choosing unilateral mastectomy (P = 0.056). Number of surgeons consulted, genetic testing, and MRI were significant predictors of patient choice of mastectomy over breast-conserving therapy. Multivariate analysis showed that the number of surgeons consulted (P < 0.001) and genetic testing (P < 0.001) were independent predictors of choosing mastectomy, whereas MRI was not. In conclusions, understanding factors driving patient decisionmaking may promote more effective education for patients requiring breast cancer surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-402
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016


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