Alain J.Azzi, Yehuda Chocron, Nirros Ponnudurai, Sarkis Meterissian, Peter G.Davison
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) awareness has increased, resulting in concerns regarding the safety of implant-based reconstruction. Breast cancer patients are first seen by surgical oncologists, who are therefore potentially the first health-care professionals to encounter concerns regarding BIA-ALCL. We therefore surveyed surgical oncologists on their understanding of BIA-ALCL to better assess potential effects on plastic surgery practice.
An anonymous web-based survey consisting of 9 multiple-choice questions was sent to breast surgical oncologists that are members of the Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology (n = 135).
Forty-two members responded (n = 42/135, 31%) and all participants were aware of BIA-ALCL. All participants reported that BIA-ALCL has not deterred them from referring patients for implant-based reconstruction. Twenty-two respondents (52%) discuss BIA-ALCL with their patients and 21% (n = 9) believe that BIA-ALCL typically follows a metastatic course. Eight respondents (19%) reported having a poor understanding of BIA-ALCL, while 14% (n = 6) were unable to identify the link to textured implants. There were no statistical differences based on case-load volume.
Approximately half of the respondent Canadian breast surgical oncologists discuss BIA-ALCL with their patients, yet there is a knowledge gap in terms of the epidemiology and clinical-pathological course of BIA-ALCL. It is of utmost importance to ensure that the plastic surgery community aims at including surgical oncologist colleagues in educational platforms regarding BIA-ALCL to ensure collaboration and unity in an effort to offer the most accurate information to patients, and prevent misinformation that may deter patients from seeking implant-based reconstruction.
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