Ensuring Your Breast Cancer Patient Is Referred for Reconstruction Consultation

AONN+ Blog published on November 11, 2010 in Breast Cancer
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Co-Founder, AONN+; University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions

Though most women diagnosed with breast cancer are good candidates for breast conservation therapy, there remains a portion of women diagnosed who need to undergo mastectomy. These include women with: the presence of multicentric disease; a large tumor contained within small breast tissue volume; previous radiated breast; or inflammatory breast cancer. There are also women who make a personal decision that they prefer to have mastectomy rather than lumpectomy surgery. Something that has been recently written about and warrants discussion (or in this case blogging) is the importance of ensuring that your patient has all the information she needs to decide the type of surgery she wants to have performed (if a candidate for either lumpectomy or mastectomy) and the opportunity to consider reconstruction. Reconstruction is rarely incorporated into the decision-making process for surgical breast cancer treatment.1 Despite the increase of breast reconstruction procedures being performed in 2008, nearly 70% of women who were eligible for a reconstruction procedure were not informed about this plastic surgery option.2 

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