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Research Letter
April 2016

Survey of the Deficits in Surgeons’ Knowledge of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston Hospital, Evanston, Illinois
  • 2University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco
  • 3Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Surgery, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
  • 5Center for Biomedical Research Informatics, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Illinois
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(4):391-393. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.3601

The contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) rate has increased dramatically over the past decade. The reasons for this trend are multiple but include patient misperceptions about the risk of contralateral breast cancer (CBC) and how a CPM affects recurrence and survival.1,2 Little is known, however, about surgeons’ knowledge of CPM and CBC and how this informs medical decision making. The literature on these topics is continually evolving, but definitive outcomes data and recommendations for CPM are lacking. Because surgeons are most patients’ preferred source of medical information regarding breast cancer,1 we thought it prudent to examine surgeons’ knowledge of CPM. We hypothesized that surgeons’ knowledge of CPM is variable and represents an opportunity for improved education on the topic.