Breast Cancer: Choice To Use Needle Biopsy Influenced by Surgeon

Dr. Benjamin D. Smith MD Associate Professor Department of Radiation Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX 77030 MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Benjamin D. Smith MD
Associate Professor
Department of Radiation Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX 77030

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Smith: Although use of needle biopsy to diagnose breast cancer increased during the time period we studied, it remained lower than targeted benchmarks. The patient’s surgeon seemed to exert a major influence on use of needle biopsy.

MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Smith: The proportion of variation in use of needle biopsy that was attributable to the surgeon was considerably larger than the proportion of variation attributable to geographic region. These findings indicate that who you see is more important than where you live.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report

Dr. Smith: It is important to engage patients in discussions regarding the best diagnostic approach for a breast abnormality and to involve breast radiologists early in the process to facilitate the most minimally invasive approach to biopsy.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Smith: The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has identified use of needle biopsy, rather than open excisional biopsy, as the number one area to decrease waste in the medical system in their Choosing Wisely campaign. It will be important to prospectively monitor the impact of this recommendation on practice.

Citation:

Abstract Presented at 2014 ASCO and published:

Surgeon Influence on Use of Needle Biopsy in Patients With Breast Cancer: A National Medicare Study

Jan M. Eberth, Ying Xu, Grace L. Smith, Yu Shen, Jing Jiang, Thomas A. Buchholz, Kelly K. Hunt, Dalliah M. Black, Sharon H. Giordano, Gary J. Whitman, Wei Yang, Chan Shen, Linda Elting, and Benjamin D. Smith

JCO JCO.2013.52.8257; published online on June 9, 2014;

 

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