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Surgical techniques in breast cancer: an overview

Lookup NU author(s): Henry Cain


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© 2019 Breast cancer is the most common female cancer and its incidence continues to increase. Ongoing advances in adjuvant treatments have resulted in declining mortality rates with increasing numbers of women surviving their breast cancer diagnosis. While the primary outcome of surgery remains oncological efficacy, the contemporary breast surgeon must consider the long-term aesthetic outcome of the procedure and the inevitable impact on body image and self-esteem. There has been a paradigm shift in breast surgery in the UK over the last 20 years with the widespread provision of oncoplastic breast surgery techniques now representing the standard of care. As the role of breast conserving surgery has been extended by therapeutic mammoplasty and the use of neoadjuvant treatments, mastectomy rates continue to decline. The widespread introduction of sentinel node biopsy has fostered an increasingly conservative approach to axillary surgery. Nationally, rates of immediate breast reconstruction following skin-sparing mastectomy continue to rise. Yet the National Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Audit highlighted the disparities in care and wide variation in practice that still exists in the UK. Whilst breast reconstruction is widely practiced, the adoption of the Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Best Practice Guidelines and engagement with long-term follow-up studies focusing on patient-reported outcome measures will hopefully result in a consistently high standard of care.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Critchley AC, Cain HJ

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Surgery

Year: 2019

Volume: 37

Issue: 3

Pages: 164-175

Print publication date: 01/03/2019

Online publication date: 26/02/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0263-9319

ISSN (electronic): 1878-1764

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.mpsur.2019.01.002