Few patients in Canada undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy, despite its safety as a procedure and the positive psychological benefits, states a review article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
The article reviews rates of breast reconstruction and factors that influence the practice of immediate reconstruction in patients with early stage breast cancer. However, information is lacking on the current rate and factors that influence this procedure in Canada.
Rates in Canada have been historically low, with a reconstruction rate of 7.7% in Ontario (1994/1995) and 3.8% in Nova Scotia from 1991. In contrast, rates were higher in Australia (9.9%, 1982), Denmark (14%, 1999) and England (16.5%, 2006). In the United States, rates for breast reconstruction have increased from as low as 3.4% in 1985 to a high of 42% from 1997 in a network of tertiary cancer centres.
Use of immediate reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy has also increased in the US, in part due to a recommendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons in 2001 to incorporate this practice in the treatment of early stage breast cancer.
[Source: Medical News Today]