Parental Status in Treatment Decision Making among Women with Nonmetastatic Breast Cancer

Patricia I. Jewett, Rachel I. Vogel, Mary C. Schroeder, Joan M. Neuner, Anne H. Blaes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Having dependent children may affect cancer treatment decisions. We sought to describe women’s surgery and chemotherapy decisions in nonmetastatic breast cancer by parental status. Methods. We conducted a secondary analysis of the 2015 cross-sectional Share Thoughts on Breast Cancer Study, conducted in 7 Midwestern states in the United States, restricted to women of prime parenting age (aged 20–50 years) who consented to the use of their medical records (N = 225). We examined treatment decisions using data visualization and logistic regression (adjusted for age, stage, family history of breast cancer, income, education, race, health insurance, and partner status). Results. Women with dependent children received bilateral mastectomy more often than women without dependent children (adjusted odds ratio 3.09, 95% confidence interval 1.44–6.62).We found no differences in the receipt of chemotherapy by parental status. Women reported more active roles in surgery than in chemotherapy decision making. Conclusions. As a likely factor in cancer treatment decisions, parental status should be addressed in clinical practice and research. Future research should assess patients’ sense of ownership in treatment decision making by treatment type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-544
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Decision Making
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • bilateral mastectomy
  • breast cancer treatment decisions
  • nonmetastatic breast cancer
  • parenting with cancer


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