Background: A growing number of women with sporadic unilateral, early-stage breast cancers are undergoing ipsilateral therapeutic mastectomy with contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) to prevent the development of new cancers in the contralateral breast. Methods: A decision-tree using TreeAge Pro 2012 software was used to model the costs and effects of CPM versus unilateral mastectomy (UM) in women younger than 50 years of age with sporadic unilateral, early stage breast cancers. Cost estimates were obtained from the Medicare Fee Schedule and the Healthcare Utilization Project. Probability estimates were obtained from the literature. Outcome effects were measured by incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. A 10-year risk period for contralateral breast cancer (CBC), a lifetime time horizon, and a societal perspective were used. Results: Treatment with CPM results in 0.2 QALYs less than UM and $279 less in costs during a 10-year risk period and lifetime follow-up. The resulting incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) is a savings of $1397 per QALY lost. The ICER is sensitive to the rate and method of postmastectomy reconstruction and the cost of radiologic surveillance after UM. Conclusions: CPM is cost-saving for the prevention of CBC in women younger than 50 years of age with sporadic, unilateral, early-stage breast cancers, but also reduces resulting health. The savings for health lost are insufficient to be considered cost-effective at this time.
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