Background: There has been an increasing prevalence of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM), particularly among younger women with breast cancer. There has been limited research evaluating patient preference, knowledge and decision-making regarding this issue.
Methods: We surveyed women who had bilateral mastectomy who were enrolled in a multicenter, longitudinal cohort study of women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 and younger. The CPM survey included 23 items on decision making, knowledge, and satisfaction with CPM.
Results: Of the 550 patients enrolled as of November 2010, 157 (28.5%) had bilateral mastectomy, of whom 124 completed the CPM survey (response rate 79%). Women with bilateral breast cancer (3) or bilateral prophylactic (1) indications for surgery were excluded. Median age at diagnosis was 37 years (range 26–40); 26 women (21%) reported having a genetic mutation (21 BRCA1 and 5 BRCA2). Excluding mutation carriers, women estimated that a median of 10 of 100 women (range 0–90) would develop contralateral breast cancer in the 5 years after unilateral breast cancer treatment and that 5 of 100 women (range 0 — 98) treated with CPM would develop contralateral breast cancer. Eighteen percent of all respondents believed that women who undergo bilateral mastectomy live longer. Women were asked the importance of potential reasons for undergoing CPM (see Table 1). Eighty-two percent of women were “extremely confident” in their decision to undergo CPM and 92% would “definitely” still choose CPM.
Conclusion: Young women with breast cancer have high rates of CPM. Many young women who have undergone CPM overestimate the risk of contralateral disease and the benefits of CPM, including believing that CPM will prevent metastasis and extend life. Interventions to counsel young women with early breast cancer to help them make optimal surgical treatment decisions are needed.
Citation Information: Cancer Res 2011;71(24 Suppl):Abstract nr P4-11-10.