Breast Reconstruction immediately after Mastectomy Linked to Increased Survival

A very interesting study was presented recently at Plastic Surgery 2010 : Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the  American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS)  and the Canadian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (CSAPS)meeting in Toronto Canada.  The  study looked at cases of breast cancer between 1998 and 2003 and analyzed  data in the US National Cancer Institute  Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry database.  The SEER analysis looked at more than 46,000 women who had undergone mastectomy alone and 8500 who had undergone a first stage of reconstruction at the time of their mastectomy. The analysis showed an amazing result that immediate breast reconstruction was associated with a 26% reduction in breast-cancer- specific mortality!  No one thinks that breast reconstruction is saving lives but the hypothesis is that patients who undergo immediate breast reconstruction  are usually in higher income brackets and are better educated.  This has been widely supported in the literature.  In addition patients with better access to good cancer centers are more likely to be referred to a reconstructive plastic surgeon by their breast surgeons than patients being treated outside a cancer center and they might be getting better overall care. This study certainly is interesting and more research needs to be done to sort out the reasons behind this increased survivial .  It certainly is interesting though!

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