New PHC4 Report: Multiple breast cancer procedures decline, Preventive procedures on the rise

Written by  PHC4
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Harrisburg, PA - October 9, 2012 - While the number of Pennsylvania women undergoing surgery for breast cancer at hospitals in the Commonwealth remained fairly constant over the past decade, the number of women who had both a mastectomy and a lumpectomy in the same year dropped significantly, according to new figures published today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). The report also indicated that the number of women electing preventive surgery increased from 2002 to 2011. This latest PHC4 report is being released in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

PHC4 records show that 10,977 Pennsylvania women received surgical treatment for breast cancer in hospitals within the state in 2011, compared to 11,074 in 2002. However, 3,173 of those had only mastectomies, an increase from 2,696 in 2002. The number having only lumpectomies also rose from 6,843 to 7,200. The number who had both types of surgeries, however, declined 60 percent, from 1,535 in 2002 to 604 in 2011.

surgery-cancer“By providing the latest information on trends in treatment, this report can be a resource for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer as they discuss options with their physicians,” said PHC4 Executive Director Joe Martin. “The data show that the number of women undergoing breast cancer surgery was consistent from 2002 through 2011, but that there are far fewer instances of a women having both a mastectomy and a lumpectomy in the same year and fewer instances of multiple lumpectomies in the same year. This improvement in efficacy and efficiency of treatment is sparing women the physical, mental and emotional toll of multiple surgical treatments.”

Women sometimes choose preventive surgery before they are diagnosed with breast cancer, because of a genetic predictor, a family history, or a personal history with the disease. That number climbed dramatically from 94 women in 2002 to 455 in 2011.


Mr. Martin noted the increase in prophylactic or preventive procedures saying, “While there have been anecdotal reports in recent years of an increase in prophylactic mastectomies, this report contains new empirical evidence that women are increasingly turning to preventive procedures.”

Among the other key findings in Surgical Treatment of Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania, 2002-2011:

  • Women ages 60 and over accounted for 58% of the breast cancer surgeries in the state in 2011, while women under age 40 comprised just 3%.
  • While the number of women having breast cancer surgery declined by only 97 between 2002 and 2011, the number of hospitalizations declined by 1,400, mostly because fewer women were hospitalized multiple times in the same year for lumpectomies.
  • In 2011, 84 men had surgical treatment for breast cancer in PA.
  • Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) paid an average of $6,109 for an inpatient mastectomy in PA in 2010. Medicaid FFS paid an average of $8,445 for an inpatient mastectomy. Medicare and Medicaid fee-for-service paid for about 28% of all inpatient mastectomies in 2010, which amounted to $5,667,495.

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania. Copies of the free report can be downloaded from PHC4’s website at

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