Potentially avoidable breast cancer surgeries cost patients and health-care system

December 15, 2016

The number of breast cancer patients that have to be reoperated on in Canada is too high and impacts patient wellbeing and health care costs, according to UBC research.

A recent study by UBC medical researchers examined the health care costs associated with lumpectomy patients requiring reoperations. A lumpectomy, known as breast conservation surgery (BCS), is a procedure that removes tumors, aims to conserve breast tissue, and is followed by radiation therapy.

The study concluded that with Canadian reoperation rates being more than double recommended targets, the additional cost to BC's health care system alone is $2 million-per-year.

One of the problems, says study author Chris Baliski, a clinical assistant professor at UBC and surgical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency in Kelowna, is the lack of clinical guidelines, targets and report cards provided to surgeons themselves.

"In Canada, 23 per cent of women require additional procedures, ranging from further BCS' to full mastectomies and breast reconstruction," says Baliski. "With reoperation rates varying widely between surgeons, it would be interesting to see if a systematic focus on health quality and improvement could minimize the number of surgeries being performed."

Having to reoperate, adds Baliski, also makes a positive cosmetic outcome more difficult to achieve and can lead to additional stress and anxiety for patients and their families.

In compiling the study, Baliski and fellow researcher Reka Pataky compared Canadian reoperation averages, calculated by the Canadian Institute of Health Information, with the 10 per cent target advocated by the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists.

Based on current research, the pair then developed multiple scenarios to measure how patient management is influenced by excessive reoperations and analyzed the monetary impact using financial data from British Columbia's health system.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), cancer is the country's leading cause of death. Earlier this year, the CCS estimated that 99,500 Canadian women would be diagnosed with cancer in 2016, with 26 per cent of those cases being breast cancer.

Baliski and Pataky's research was recently published in the journal Current Oncology.
-end-


University of British Columbia Okanagan campus

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.