Factors influencing choice between mastectomy and lumpectomy for women in the Carolinas

Susan Benedict, David J. Cole, Lisa Baron, Paul Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: The Carolinas have been documented to have a low rate of breast-conserving surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine factors that influence women's choice between mastectomy and lumpectomy. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was designed for the study and was mailed to women on the mailing lists of cancer organizations in North and South Carolina. Women who had initially been treated in 1995-1998 were included. Results: The rate of breast-conserving surgery (BCS) was 18% and actually declined from a high of 23% in 1995. The highest rate of BCS was in private hospitals rather than academic health science centers. Fifty-four of the 212 respondents believed they were given a choice between mastectomy and BSC and, of these, only 15% (n = 80) chose BSC. Women in the two treatment groups differed in education and income. Sources of treatment-related information included cancer organizations, popular media, friends, family, and the Interact. The most important factor to both groups was perceived probability of cure. Avoidance of radiation treatments was a factor among the mastectomy group. Conclusions: The low rate of BCS for the region was confirmed. Many women are still unconvinced that BSC offers as great a likelihood of cure as mastectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 19 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Treatment choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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