Despite substantial research into breast cancer over the past 50 years and the dramatic improvements in survival rates, there remain very large variations in the treatments women receive for this disease.
Even within a single healthcare system such as the NHS, there are significant disparities in treatment, including the use of mastectomy versus lumpectomy, the likelihood of breast reconstruction and the use of surgery in older women. While these variations in practice have been recognised for many years, and may to some extent be attributed to the stage of the disease and availability of certain treatment modalities, there appear to be a number of other factors affecting the treatment used.
In this lecture, Professor Malcolm Reed discusses the huge interplay of factors that can affect choice of treatment. From patient-specific considerations – including previous experiences and preferences – to the particular healthcare team involved, with their own long-standing practices and preferences, there is certainly no one size fits all in treatment for breast cancer.