The Society of Surgical Oncology, inc.
The American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Exploring Surgeon Variability in Recommendations for Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy: What Matters Most?

Mark A. Taylor MD, Chelsea McCarty Allen PhD, Angela P. Presson PhD, Morgan M. Millar PhD, Rudi Zurbuchen BS, Cindy B. Matsen MD, MSCI, FACS
Breast Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 10 / October , 2019



American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) guidelines state that it is the responsibility of the surgeon to discuss the risks/benefits of and give a recommendation regarding contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM). We conducted a survey of ASBrS members to evaluate the factors that affect this recommendation, confidence in this recommendation, and awareness/adoption of the guidelines.


A survey was sent to the ASBrS membership. Vignettes with the following variables about breast cancer patient were randomly included: age, disease stage, receptor status, family history (FH) of breast cancer, and patient preference for CPM. Respondents were asked to estimate the patient’s chance of developing contralateral cancer, whether they would recommend CPM, and their confidence in this recommendation, and about their familiarity with and use of the guidelines.


536 members (21.9%) responded. The odds of recommending CPM and confidence in recommendation were higher in a younger patient, higher-stage disease, triple-negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)2+ relative to estrogen receptor (ER)+, and in women with FH. Of surgeons, 51% were familiar or very familiar with the guidelines and 38% used the guidelines most or all of the time. Surgeons who used the guidelines were not less likely to recommend CPM.


While surgeons generally agree on the factors that are important in making a recommendation on CPM, there is variability in how strongly the different factors influence the recommendation and their confidence in that recommendation. In addition, while most surgeons were at least a little familiar with the ASBrS guidelines, the vast majority do not routinely use them.

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