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The American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Breast-Contour-Preserving Procedure as a Multidisciplinary Parameter of Esthetic Outcome in Breast Cancer Treatment in The Netherlands

Annnelotte van Bommel MD, Pauline Spronk MD, Marc Mureau MD, PhD, Sabine Siesling PhD, Carolien Smorenburg MD, PhD, Rob Tollenaar MD, PhD, Marie-Jeanne Vrancken Peeters MD, PhD, Thijs van Dalen MD, PhD
Breast Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 6 / June , 2019



The rate of breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is used as an esthetic outcome parameter, while other treatments contribute also, such as neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) enabling BCS or immediate breast reconstruction (IBR). This study explores these efforts to preserve the patient’s breast contour.

Patients and Methods

All patients who underwent surgery for invasive breast cancer in The Netherlands between January 2011 and December 2015 were selected from the Dutch national breast cancer audit (n = 61,309). The breast-contour-preserving procedures (BCPP) rate was defined as the rate of primary BCS, BCS after NAC, or mastectomy with IBR. BCPP rates were calculated and compared by year of diagnosis, age categories, and individual hospitals.


The rate of primary BCS remained stable (53%) while the BCPP rate increased from 63% in 2011 to 71% in 2015 due to an increase in patients receiving BCS after NAC and mastectomy with IBR. Primary BCS rates increased with age (from 17% in patients aged < 30 years to 63% in patients aged 60–69 years), while the proportion of patients undergoing mastectomy with IBR decreased from 44% in patients < 30 years to 1% in patients ≥ 70 years. The BCPP rate was similar for all age groups except for patients > 70 years. BCPP rates varied between the different hospitals in The Netherlands, ranging from 47 to 88%.


The chance of preserving the breast contour for patients with breast cancer has increased substantially over recent years. BCPP provides a comprehensive parameter of esthetic outcome of breast cancer surgery.

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