Publication Abstract

Authors: Gilligan MA, Neuner J, Sparapani R, Laud PW, Nattinger AB

Title: Surgeon characteristics and variations in treatment for early-stage breast cancer.

Journal: Arch Surg 142(1):17-22

Date: 2007 Jan

Abstract: HYPOTHESIS: Adherence to National Institutes of Health consensus statement recommendations for early-stage breast cancer will vary by surgeon characteristics. DESIGN: Secondary data analysis using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results national tumor registry linked with Medicare claims data. Logistic regression was used to analyze data on a cohort of 1045 surgeons who operated on 9449 Medicare patients with early-stage breast cancer. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Care adherent to the 1990 National Institutes of Health consensus statement recommendations. RESULTS: Surgeon age and specialty were not associated with adherent care overall, nor among breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy subgroups. Patients of higher-volume surgeons were significantly more likely to undergo adherent care overall because of greater use of lymph node dissection among women who received either breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. Patients of female surgeons and surgeons with a medical school affiliation were less likely to undergo adherent care overall, which was related to greater use of breast-conserving surgery and lesser use of lymph node dissection among patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Several surgeon characteristics are significantly associated with variations in breast cancer treatment received. These results warrant further investigation into the association between these surgeon characteristics and cancer care outcomes.