Surgeons’ preferences for using sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ

Claudia J.C. Meurs, Janine A. van Til, Marian B.E. Menke-Pluijmers, Stefanie de Vet, Sabine Siesling, Pieter J. Westenend*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: There is a large variation between Dutch hospitals in the use of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) in patients with a biopsy diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. The aim of our study was to investigate whether this variation might be explained by preferences of surgeons, organisational factors or the influence of patients preferences.

Methods: A cross-sectional web survey was conducted among 260 Dutch oncological/breast surgeons. Preferences of surgeons and the influence of the patients’ preferences were determined by means of best-worst scaling (BWS) of profile case scenarios and by ranking risk factors. The survey also explored organisational questions, the reported use of diagnostic techniques and influences on the decision.

Results: The BWS scenarios were completed by 57 surgeons. The most important reasons for performing SLNB were a suspected invasive component and DCIS grade 3. In the ranking, these were also the first and second most important factor, followed by the size of the lesion and a mass on mammogram. In 58% to 70% of the scenarios, the surgeons would not change their decisions on the use of SLNB if the patient’s chose differed. No organisational factor was significantly associated with the reported use of SLNB.

Conclusion: The inter-hospital variation in the use of SLNB could not be attributed to organisational factors or surgeons’ preferences for risk factors. The risk factors that most surgeons reported as reasons for performing SLNB are consistent with the factors described in the Dutch treatment guideline for the use of SLNB.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0269551
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2022

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