Few Breast Cancer Surgeons Follow Quality Of Care Standards

This post was authored by Brian Nash and posted to The Eye Opener on January 6th, 2010.

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Today’s online issue of Medical News Today offers good insight for women, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  A recent study by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center notes that the standards of care in the treatment of such patients calls for, among other things, “consulting with other specialists and providing resources and education to help patients make treatment decisions.”

“Despite the mantra for multidisciplinary decision-making and care intake for patients, surgeons in the community are reporting relatively little of that in their practices,” says lead study author Steven J. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School and professor of health management and policy at the U-M School of Public Health.

As further noted by one of the co-directors of the program at U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center:

“Either doctors are not convinced these elements matter or there are logistical constraints in terms of building these standards into their practices. What the implications are for patients is unknown. These results suggest patients might find a more integrated practice among surgeons with higher volume. But we don’t know whether that matters with regards to patient decision making, quality of life and satisfaction,” says Katz, who is also co-director of the socio-behavioral program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The authors of the article (for a full review, see Few Breast Cancer Surgeons Follow Quality Of Care Standards), in Medical News Today cite the following statistics with respect to breast cancer – “Breast cancer statistics: 194,280 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,610 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.”

It would seem that the moral of the story in this report for women dealing with this disease is – make sure you discuss your options with your doctor and specifically discuss the concept of a multi-disciplinary approach in the formation of your treatment choices.

There is also an encouraging report on the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s site that speaks to their scientists having “uncovered an important link between inflammation and breast cancer stem cells that suggests a new way to target cells that are resistant to current treatments.”



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