Background: Disparities persist in the receipt of breast reconstruction after mastectomy, and little is known about the nature of communication received by patients and potential variations that may exist. Methods: Women with early-stage breast cancer (stages 0 to II) diagnosed between July of 2013 and September of 2014 were identified through the Georgia and Los Angeles Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries and surveyed to collect additional data on demographics, treatment, and decision-making experiences. Treating general/oncologic surgeons were also surveyed. Primary outcomes measures included self-reported communication-related measures on receipt of information on breast reconstruction and on the receipt of breast reconstruction. Results: The authors analyzed 936 women who underwent mastectomy for unilateral breast cancer. Four hundred eighty-four (51.7 percent) underwent mastectomy with reconstruction. Women who were older and for whom English was not their primary spoken language had lower odds of being informed by a doctor about breast reconstruction. Ultimately, women who were older, were Asian, had invasive disease, had bronchitis/emphysema, and had lower income were less likely to undergo breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction was performed more often in patients undergoing bilateral mastectomies (OR, 3.27; 95 percent CI, 2.26 to 4.75). Women cared for by surgeons with higher volumes of breast cancer patients (≥51 patients per year) were more likely to undergo breast reconstruction (OR, 2.43; 95 percent CI, 1.40 to 4.20). Conclusion: To eliminate existing disparities, increased efforts should be made in consultations for surgical management of breast cancer to provide information to all patients regarding the option of breast reconstruction, the possibility of immediate reconstruction, and insurance coverage of all stages of reconstruction.
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