Review of Factors Influencing Women's Choice of Mastectomy Versus Breast Conserving Therapy in Early Stage Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

We have performed a narrative synthesis. A literature search was conducted between January 2000 and June 2014 in 7 databases. The initial search identified 2717 articles; 319 underwent abstract screening, 67 underwent full-text screening, and 25 final articles were included. This review looked at early stage breast cancer in women only, excluding ductal carcinoma in situ and advanced breast cancer. A conceptual framework was created to organize the central constructs underlying women's choices: clinicopathologic factors, physician factors, and individual factors with subgroups of sociodemographic, geographic, and personal beliefs and preferences. This framework guided our review's synthesis and analysis. We found that larger tumor size and increasing stage was associated with increased rates of mastectomy. The results for age varied, but suggested that old and young extremes of diagnostic age were associated with an increased likelihood of mastectomy. Higher socioeconomic status was associated with higher breast conservation therapy (BCT) rates. Resident rural location and increasing distance from radiation treatment facilities were associated with lower rates of BCT. Individual belief factors influencing women's choice of mastectomy (mastectomy being reassuring, avoiding radiation, an expedient treatment) differed from factors influencing choice of BCT (body image and femininity, physician recommendation, survival equivalence, less surgery). Surgeon factors, including female gender, higher case numbers, and individual surgeon practice, were associated with increased BCT rates. The decision-making process for women with early stage breast cancer is complicated and affected by multiple factors. Organizing these factors into central constructs of clinicopathologic, individual, and physician factors may aid health-care professionals to better understand this process.

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