Previous studies have shown that breast cancer patients with a low socioeconomic status (SES) are less likely to undergo postmastectomy immediate breast reconstruction (IBR). However, these studies were performed in countries with unequal access to healthcare. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether SES also contributes to the likelihood of receiving IBR in a country with equal access to healthcare.
Patients with stage I or II breast cancer diagnosed between 2011 and 2018 who underwent mastectomy were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. SES was calculated from the average incomes of each postal code which were divided into 10-deciles. Primary outcome was the effect of SES on the likelihood of receiving IBR, controlled for patient, tumour and hospital characteristics expressed as Odds Ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Women with lower SES undergoing mastectomy were less likely to receive postmastectomy IBR. More research is warranted to study whether lifestyle factors associated with lower SES such as smoking and higher BMI, language barrier, illiteracy and less access to internet explain these differences.