The Influence of Gender of the Surgeon on Surgical Procedure Preference for Breast Cancer

Weinberg, Elizabeth; Grannan, Kevin; Woods, Scott; Hendy, Mary Pat
April 2002
American Surgeon;Apr2002, Vol. 68 Issue 4, p398
Academic Journal
There are few data in the literature with regard to the influence of surgeon gender and the treatment of breast cancer. In this retrospective review we propose to test the hypothesis that male surgeons are just as likely as female surgeons to provide breast-conservative treatment. From 1990 through 1997 2271 women with breast cancer in Cincinnati, Ohio were operated on by surgeons within the TriHealth Corporation. We compared the performance rate of breast conservation therapy (BCT) with the rate of mastectomy in early-stage breast cancer patients between male and female surgeons. Male surgeons were significantly more likely to provide their patients with breast-conserving treatment than their female colleagues for stages 0 and IIb (P < 0.05). Although male surgeons performed more BCT than female surgeons for stages I and IIa the difference was not statistically significant. For the three stages combined there was a 30 per cent greater chance of a patient receiving breast-conserving treatment if she went to a male surgeon (P < 0.05). We conclude that in our institution male surgeons are no more likely to select mastectomy than their female colleagues and there appears to be an increased use of BCT by male surgeons.


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