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PA Report: Multiple Breast Cancer Surgeries Decline, Preventative Procedures Rise

Between 2002 and 2011 the number of women in Pennsylvania hospitals who had both a mastectomy and lumpectomy dropped, while preventative surgery increased. The findings on breast cancer surgeries are detailed in a report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released Tuesday. While the number of women undergoing surgery for breast cancer remained steady over the ten year period, those having both procedures fell by 60%, from 1,535 to 604.

Meanwhile, the number of women electing to undergo preventative mastectomies before they were diagnosed rose from 94 to 455 over the same timeframe. PHC4 spokesman Gary Tuma said their report does not detail why the change occurred, but explained it may be attributed to better follow-up therapies and corollary treatments that save women from having to go back for repeat procedures in the same year. Tuma said this is the first report of this kind, and he hopes patients and physicians find it useful.

"For women, it gives them information on what the latest trends are and it gives them a knowledge base to discuss their individual situation with their physician. And also for the medical community, it can be nice to know what your peers are doing," said Tuma.

The Surgical Treatment of Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania 2002-2011 also showed:

- Women ages 60 and over account for 58% of the breast cancer surgeries

- In 2011 84 men had surgical treatment for breast cancer

- Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) paid an average of $6,109 for inpatient mastectomy in PA in 2010, Medicaid FFS paid an average of $8,445. Together they paid about 28% of all inpatient mastectomies in 2010, totaling $5,667,495