If you’re a young white woman who needs a mastectomy, chances are your doctor will discuss reconstruction options with you. However, according to a recent study, older and non-caucasian women often do not receive this information before surgery.
“It’s all done in one procedure, so it is absolutely important to discuss it before hand,” researcher Dr. Caprice C. Greenberg told Reuters.
Dr. Greenberg and her colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reviewed 626 women who underwent mastectomies, finding that 253 had breast reconstruction. That minority may be due to only 40% of these women having the reconstruction discussion, as reflected in their medical records. The researchers found an apparent and unfortunate pattern of age, education and ethnicity playing a role in whether or not the conversation took place.
“Women need to know all the facts about breast reconstruction,” Greenberg said, “and if your physician doesn’t bring it up, women should be proactive and not afraid to ask if reconstruction is an option.”
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