International variation in physicians' attitudes towards prophylactic mastectomy - Comparison between France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

M. Den Heijer, C. J. Van Asperen, H. Harris, I. Nippert, J. Schmidtke, A. D. Bouhnik, C. Julian-Reynier, D. G. Evans, A. Tibben

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Purpose Prophylactic mastectomy (PM) has proven to be the most effective method to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women. The present study aimed to present and compare the attitudes towards PM among physicians in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (UK). Patients and methods An international sample of 1196 general practitioners (GPs) and 927 breast surgeons (BS) were surveyed using a mailed questionnaire. Results Only 30% of the French and 27% of the German GPs were of opinion that PM should be an option for an unaffected female BRCA1/2 mutation carrier, as compared to 85% and 92% of the GPs in the Netherlands and UK, respectively. Similarly, 78% of the French and 66% of the German BS reported a positive attitude towards PM, as compared to 100% and 97% of the BS in the Netherlands and UK, respectively. In the whole sample of GPs, a positive attitude towards PM was associated with country of residence, being female, and having more knowledge of breast/ovarian cancer genetics, while among BS there was a positive association with country of residence and having more knowledge of breast/ovarian cancer genetics as well, and, in addition, with a higher number of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients last year. Conclusion These results demonstrated the international variations in the attitude towards PM among physicians. This might reflect that different policies are adopted to prevent breast cancer in women at-risk. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2798-2805
    Number of pages7
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
    Volume49
    Issue number13
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

    Keywords

    • Breast cancer
    • France
    • Germany
    • International variation
    • Physicians' attitudes
    • Prophylactic mastectomy
    • Surgeons
    • The Netherlands-
    • The UK

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