The Uptake and Factors Associated with Mastectomy among Chinese Women with Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Observational Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

2 Department of Breast Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

3 Department of Nursing, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

4 President’s Office, Tung Wah College, Hong Kong, China.


Objective: There are limited data concerning the use of mastectomy and associated factors in China in recent years. This study aimed to investigate the uptake of mastectomy and determine the associations between patients’ characteristics and mastectomy among Chinese women with breast cancer. Methods: A retrospective analysis of female breast cancer cases from 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2019 from a tertiary hospital was conducted. Socio-demographic data, clinical data, and surgery types were collected by reviewing the medical record system. Chi-squared test, Fisher’s exact test and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to determine any correlations of patients’ characteristics with mastectomy. Results: A total of 1,171 women with breast cancer were identified, and 76.60% of them underwent a mastectomy. The mastectomy rates showed an increase from 70.62% in 2015 to 86.87% in 2017 and then dropped to 71.91% in 2019. Women undergoing mastectomy were older and were more likely to be married and have at least one child. They had an advanced cancer stage, larger tumour size, and more lymph node invasion and were positive for HER-2 overexpression. Older age, larger tumour size (2-5 cm), higher cancer stages (stage 2- stage 3) and being positive for HER-2 were the four independent variables that significantly predicted the uptake of mastectomy. Conclusions: Our results showed a wide application of mastectomy in China and uncovered the factors associated with mastectomy uptake from a single-centre experience. Findings suggested the potential overuse of mastectomy among women with early-stage breast cancer, and highlighted the significance of promoting cancer screening in China. Findings could be also used to develop relevant provisions and interventions to facilitate breast cancer treatment decision-making and screening planning.


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