One out of every eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and men have a lifetime risk of one in 1,000. This year, over 3.1 million women are currently being treated or have finished treatment for breast cancer.
The Virginia Piper Cancer Institute had clear evidence-based practice guidelines that directed recommendations for early breast cancer treatment options. Even with these evidence-based recommendations, however, the organization’s mastectomy rates were higher than expected.
Recognizing the organization could do better, the breast cancer program committee endorsed the spread of shared decision making for patients with early-stage breast cancer to all Virginia Piper Cancer Institute locations. The spread of shared decision making allowed patients to receive evidence-based information early in their course of care and make informed decisions that aligned with their values and preferences.
Within nine months of implementing a standard process for shared decision-making visits, the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute clinics that have completely adopted the process have made significant progress in engaging patients with early breast cancer in the shared decision-making process:
- 81 percent of eligible patients (207 people) participated in shared decision-making visits.
- 62 percent of the shared decision-making visits were in person.
- 27 percent relative increase in surgical decision of lumpectomy over mastectomy.