Effect of Surgeon Factors on Long-Term Patient-Reported Outcomes After Breast-Conserving Therapy in Older Breast Cancer Survivors.


Far West


Riverside Community Hospital

Document Type


Publication Date



breast cancer, cancer survivors, surgical oncology, quality of life, breast-conserving therapy


Neoplasms | Oncology | Surgery


BACKGROUND: The effect of surgeon factors on patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes after breast-conserving therapy (BCT) is unknown and may help patients make informed care decisions.

METHODS: We performed a survey study of women aged ≥ 67 years with non-metastatic breast cancer diagnosed in 2009 and treated with guideline-concordant BCT, to determine the association of surgeon factors with patient-reported outcomes. The treating surgeon was identified using Medicare claims, and surgeon factors were identified via the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. The primary outcome was patient-reported cosmetic satisfaction measured by the Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team (CanSORT) Satisfaction with Breast Cosmetic Outcome instrument, while secondary outcomes included BREAST-Q subdomains. All patient, treatment, and surgeon covariables were included in a saturated multivariable linear regression model with backward elimination applied until remaining variables were p < 0.1.

RESULTS: Of 1650 women randomly selected to receive the questionnaire, 489 responded, of whom 289 underwent BCT. Median age at diagnosis was 72 years and the time from diagnosis to survey was 6 years. The mean adjusted CanSORT score was higher for patients treated by surgical oncologists than patients treated by non-surgical oncologists (4.01 [95% confidence interval [CI] 3.65-4.38] vs. 3.53 [95% CI 3.28-3.77], p = 0.006). Similarly, mean adjusted BREAST-Q Physical Well-Being (91.97 [95% CI 86.13-97.80] vs. 83.04 [95% CI 80.85-85.22], p = 0.006) and Adverse Radiation Effects (95.28 [95% CI 91.25-99.31] vs. 88.90 [95% CI 86.23-91.57], p = 0.004) scores were better among patients treated by surgical oncologists.

CONCLUSIONS: Specialized surgical oncology training is associated with improved long-term patient-reported outcomes. These findings underscore the value of specialized training and may be useful to patients choosing their care team.

Publisher or Conference

Annals of Surgical Oncology