Potentially avoidable breast cancer surgeries cost patients and health care system

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 59 , No. 1 , January February 2017 , Pages 56-57 News

A recent study by UBC medical researchers examined the health care costs associated with lumpectomy patients requiring reoperations. A lumpectomy, or breast conservation surgery (BCS), removes tumors, aims to conserve breast tissue, and is followed by radiation therapy. The study concluded that with Canadian reoperation rates being more than double recommended targets, the additional cost to BC’s health care system alone is $2 million per year.

Study author Dr Chris Baliski, a clinical assistant professor at UBC and surgical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency in Kelowna, identifies one of the problems as the lack of clinical guidelines, targets, and report cards provided to surgeons. Dr Baliski notes that, in Canada, 23% of women require additional procedures, ranging from further BCSs to full mastectomies and breast reconstruction. He adds that having to reoperate also makes a positive cosmetic outcome more difficult to achieve and can lead to additional stress and anxiety for patients and their families.

In compiling the study, Dr Baliski and fellow researcher Ms Reka Pataky compared Canadian reoperation averages, calculated by the Canadian Institute of Health Information, with the 10% target advocated by the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists. Based on current research, the pair then developed multiple scenarios to measure how patient management is influenced by excessive reoperations and analyzed the monetary impact using financial data from British Columbia’s health system.

The related article, “Reoperation costs in attempted breast-conserving surgery: A decision analysis,” was recently published in Current Oncology, and is available online at www.current-oncology.com/index.php/oncology/article/view/2989.

. Potentially avoidable breast cancer surgeries cost patients and health care system. BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 1, January, February, 2017, Page(s) 56-57 - News.



Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.


For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply