HC Deb 16 April 2002 vol 383 c921W
Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the criteria used for deciding when to carry out a mastectomy. [46753]

Yvette Cooper

[holding answer 10 April 2002]: "Improving Outcomes in Breast Cancer: The Manual (Guidance for Purchasers 1996)" states that a range of operations should be available for the treatment of breast cancer. If the cancer is not too large or diffuse, surgical options include mastectomy or breast conserving surgery. In such cases, the choice should be made jointly by the surgeon and the patient, who should be fully informed of all the options and their potential risks, benefits and implications for further treatment. Breast reconstruction should be discussed with patients who are to undergo mastectomy.

A copy of the guidance is available in the Library.