Background: The treatment options of breast conservation therapy (BCT) and immediate reconstruction for patients with carcinoma of the breast have not been adopted widely. The objectives of this study were to determine how often a second opinion on the local therapy of breast carcinoma changed patient management and to identify factors predictive of remaining at the second-opinion site for therapy.
Methods: Two hundred thirty-one patients with intraductal carcinoma or Stage I and II breast carcinoma were reviewed retrospectively. At the time of the second opinion, patients completed a questionnaire regarding their initial surgical opinion and the reason for seeking consultation.
Results: Only 46% of patients had a complete discussion of treatment options prior to the second opinion. The second opinion changed management in 54 patients (20.3%). The most common finding was eligibility for BCT in patients who were offered only mastectomy. Definitive local therapy occurred at the second-opinion site in 65.8% of patients. The only predictors of remaining at the second-opinion site were insurance type (P = 0.008) and the patient's perception that options were not discussed at the initial opinion (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Second opinions provide useful information to patients and may change the management of their disease. They result in significant patient capture for an institution.
Copyright 2002 American Cancer Society.DOI 10.1002/cncr.10318