OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to determine the practice of general surgeons at St. Lukes Medical Center on breast conserving surgery (BCS), and to identify the factors that are correlated with the number of BCS done by these surgeons.
METHODS: In June 2003, a 24-item questionnaire dealing with BCS was distributed to all general surgeons practicing at St. Lukes Medical Center. The questionnaires were retrieved within one month.
RESULTS: Of the 133 surgeons who were given questionnaires, 128 (96 percent) replied. The mean age of the surgeons was 45 years (range=3 1-77). There were 123 males and 5 females. One hundred ten surgeons (86 percent) would offer BCS. The most common reason for doing BCS by surgeons was for cosmesis. The number one factor considered by surgeons before doing BCS was the tumor size. The average maximum size of tumor the respondents would consider for BCS was 3 cm (range=1.0-5.0). Seventy-three percent preferred the linear accelerator over cobalt for postoperative radiotherapy. When asked where the radiotherapy should be done, 70 percent chose the private hospitals primarily due to quality of service. The number one reason why patients were hesitant to undergo BCS according to the surgeons was the patients fear of recurrence. Lack of surgeons education and training were identified as the most common reason why BCS is not popular in the Philippines. The most popular recommendation given was the education of surgeons to increase awareness of BCS. The number of BCS done was positively correlated with the age of the doctor (p=0.008), years in practice (p=0.006), and if the surgeon offers BCS (p=0.004).