Survey on Breast Cancer Staging Practices

Dear Colleague,

Controversy still exists amongst physicians about the role of baseline radiological staging looking for evidence of metastatic disease in patients with early stage breast cancer. Despite multiple evidence based guidelines, there is significant practice variability when it comes to who is imaged and what imaging is done.

We are conducting a survey based research study looking at the utility of perioperative baseline radiologic imaging in patients with early stage breast cancer and would appreciate your input. The survey questions will ask you about your views and practice patterns on this issue. Your answers will help us identify potential factors as to why there is variability in the use of perioperative imaging amongst physicians who treat this disease. We plan to make the results of this survey available to those responsible for preparing future guidelines so that the opinions of the practicing physician are considered during the guideline developmental process. None of these questions pertain to pre-operative breast and axillary imaging with mammography, MRI or ultrasound.

You must be able to read and understand English in order to complete this survey. We have kept it brief so that it does not take up more than a few minutes of your time. There will be no identifying data on the survey and all responses will remain anonymous. You are under no obligation to do this survey and by completing the survey, consent is implied. We hope you agree to complete this survey and share your thoughts on this issue with us.

If you are interested in taking part in this study you may access the survey here:

All survey data will be kept electronically on a password-protected and encrypted computer during the conduct of this study. The Ottawa Hospital Research Ethics Board and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute may review these study records for audit purposes. All study records will be kept for 10 years after termination of the study and then destroyed. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact the Chairman of the Ottawa Hospital Research Ethics Board at 613-798-5555, ext. 14902.

If you have any further questions about the survey itself, you may contact Dr. Demetrios Simos at 613-737-7700, ext. 73466.

Thank you for your co-operation. Your input will help us with our goal to improve care in patients with breast cancer.


Dr. Angel Arnaout, Surgical Oncologist, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre

Dr. Jean Seely, Radiologist, The Ottawa Hospital

Dr. Jean-Michel Caudrelier, Radiation Oncologist, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre

Dr. Mark Clemons, Medical Oncologist, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre

Dr. Brian Hutton, Methodologist, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Demetrios Simos, Medical Oncology Clinical Fellow, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre