CSC Puts Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction

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The Cancer Support Community (CSC) found nearly half of breast cancer patients do not receive information about breast reconstruction options at the time of diagnosis.

The CSC survey results is based on an online and paper-and-pencil survey responses from women with breast cancer collected between July 14-Aug. 20, 2010 from across the United States. Of the 840 responses received, 78 women with breast cancer were not candidates for reconstruction.

Nearly 50 percent don't know about breast reconstruction options

Of the 762 women who were eligible for breast reconstruction, 43% reported they had not received information about breast reconstruction options when making treatment decisions at diagnosis.

Of the survey respondents who did receive information on breast reconstruction options from a plastic surgeon, 87.5% of respondents reported that they were mostly or extremely satisfied with their decision to undergo breast reconstruction.

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The survey found a high percentage (86.8%) of satisfaction with the decision to undergo breast reconstruction among the women surveyed who received information about reconstruction at diagnosis.

Many of the women surveyed indicated the need for the availability of more information. Respondents indicated that when making their decisions, they wish they had known more about the following:

  1. How they would feel after reconstruction – 30.8%
  2. How they would look after reconstruction – 31.5%
  3. Future breast health – 22.9%
  4. Risks and benefits of reconstruction at the point of mastectomy vs. at a later point – 14%
  5. Details of each procedure– 15.2%

In an attempt to meet the challenge of overcomplicated or insufficient information provided to breast cancer patients, and as part of their ongoing commitment to patient education, the CSC announced that it is launching Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction. This comprehensive patient empowerment program will streamline information about breast reconstruction – emphasizing up-front education and tools for decision making. The national program will encourage women to speak openly with their physicians about whether reconstruction is right for them.

The program developed with support from Mentor Worldwide LLC, will include 75 free community-based patient education workshops scheduled throughout the United States in 2011 and 2012. A comprehensive patient education resource guide, multimedia education tools, and online web content will also be available.

To learn more about Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction including upcoming workshops, or to access downloadable materials, visit www.cancersupportcommunity.org.

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