With the introduction of the Triple Aim approach, patient satisfaction has become a primary focus for healthcare providers and payers of breast cancer treatment. According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Triple Aim has three main focuses: improving the patient experience, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare. These focuses reflect the overall shift in the healthcare market from volume to value. In regard to breast cancer treatment, this shift can be translated to less re-excisions and better outcomes for the patient. A recent study presented at the 2018 Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reported significantly lower satisfaction by women requiring re-excision following their breast-conserving surgery. Using the BREAST-Q scoring system, the authors found that re-excision was significantly associated with a decrease in breast satisfaction among women receiving breast conservation therapy (BCT) and that the number of re-excisions was significantly associated with lower BREAST-Q scores. Increased age, increased tumor size, any axillary surgery, adjuvant radiation, and increased time from surgery were also significantly associated with reduced breast satisfaction.
The BREAST-Q ‘Satisfaction with Breast’ scale is designed to provide clinicians and researchers with the ability to create their own individual version of the questionnaire to suit their needs. The scale asks women to consider, with their breasts in mind, how satisfied they are when they look in the mirror clothed, with the shape, contour, size of the lumpectomy breast and with how normal they feel in their clothes, and other similar questions.
This strong association between re-excision surgery and reduced patient satisfaction scores is one of the many reasons that removing all of the cancerous tissue in the patient’s first surgery is so important to a successful outcome. This is also why MarginProbe, a device used to identify microscopic residual cancer on the surface of excised breast tissue, in real time during a lumpectomy, could be a key factor in ensuring patient satisfaction after breast surgery.
In peer-reviewed papers and abstracts, MarginProbe has been shown to reduce re-excision rates for women undergoing BCT by up to 79 percent. “The biggest benefit [to using MarginProbe during breast-conserving surgery] is that [surgeons are] able to assess their surgical margins in real time,” Lori Chmura, Dune Medical CEO, mentioned in an article with U.S News & World Report. This can take some of the subjectivity of estimating where the cancer ends and normal tissue begins, hopefully preserving more of the patients’ breast tissue and increasing their overall satisfaction with their breasts afterward.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about MarginProbe’s ability to reduce positive margin rates and improve patient satisfaction with Breast Conserving Therapy.