UCLA Breast Surgery is committed to ongoing research efforts to advance the field of breast cancer and surgery to better serve our patients.
Many factors affect access to immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy. This study used a national inpatient database to assess trends, outcomes, and predictors of immediate reconstruction from 2009 to 2014. We found that most women received implant-based immediate reconstruction. Utilization of deep inferior epigastric perforator flaps increased significantly. The authors recommended that future research focus on complications, costs, and quality-of-life measures to better assess the value of autologous reconstruction.
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This study was inspired by conversations occurring among breast cancer survivors in the online space. A survey was co-created with breast cancer survivors, and then was distributed online. Among 2400 respondents, it was found that over 90% experience side effects related to treatment, approximately 30% discontinued therapy early, and 32% felt that their symptoms were not taken seriously by their medical team. The authors recommended that future research focus on strategies to help manage endocrine therapy-related side effects, as well as medical team communication.
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An increasing number of women and men who have been treated for breast cancer are seeking support from online communities. The authors reviewed the history of #BCSM (breast cancer social media), which is the first and longest-running cancer-specific support community on Twitter. Over the past 9 years, use of the #BCSM hashtag has increased by over 400%, and has been used by over 75,000 unique accounts. Physician use has increased from 96 users in 2011 to over 3000 in 2019. The authors noted that the weekly chats and other conversations utilizing the #BCSM hashtag serve as an important resource for patient education and support, and provide an opportunity for physicians to both support and learn from patients.
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