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Breast Cancer Surgery, and its aftermath, in Nursing Home Residents

A woman receiving a breast cancer screening by a nurse

“A new study reports that breast cancer surgery among frail, elderly women residing in nursing care centers is associated with loss of functional independence and high rates of hospital readmission and mortality.”

The aforementioned study took data from women ages 67 and over, who lived in a nursing home for 90 days or more, from the years of 2003-2013. Fifty-Eight percent of these women, who resided in nursing homes for more than ninety days before their breast cancer surgery, lost a significant amount of their functional ability in the year after surgery. Additionally, if the women from this group had any functional impairment before their breast cancer surgery and treatment, they had the highest rates of mortality and functional decline in the year following.

This staggering data leads healthcare professionals to be more cautious when treating breast cancer in this group of women. In this study, sixty-one percent of these women received the most invasive form of treatment and surgery, and only eleven percent received the least invasive form of treatment and surgery. In the future, healthcare professionals can consider doing less invasive treatment, with the hope of improving the longevity and quality of life in these women.

This study also found that the rates of readmission at thirty days were very high, and the rate of mortality at 30 days was high as well.

A total of sixty-one percent of cancer-related operations on those in nursing homes are breast cancer surgery. This is the most common cancer operation performed on nursing home residents. Additionally, more than half of all female nursing center residents are suspected of having breast cancer, and about two-thirds of these women are recommended for treatment.

This study has brought a lot of senior-specific topics to the surface. Though being suspected, and diagnosed with cancer seems to be a cut and dry treatment and surgery plan, surgery and treatment may not be the best course of action for senior women. It can cut their length of life down significantly, and decrease their quality of life. This study has found that it is probable that the treatment of cancer is worse than living with cancer itself.

Knowing all of this new information, it is important that healthcare professionals individualize treatment plans for each woman with breast cancer. Even with the individualized treatment plans, healthcare professionals may need to start erring on the side of caution with breast cancer treatment and surgery in order to improve the quality, and length, of the women residents of nursing homes’ lives.


Delavan Health Services CNA Honored at FOCUS

One of North Shore Healthcare’s CNAs was honored during the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ 2018 FOCUS conference held in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Arlene Hibl, CNA at Delavan Health Services, was recognized for her role as a Direct Caregiver during a presentation given by Otis Woods, Administrator of the DHS-Division of Quality Assurance.  The Wisconsin Healthcare Association (WHCA) submitted Arlene’s name to be recognized as she was nominated by North Shore for the WHCA’s Shining Star Award earlier this fall.

To read WHCA’s article featuring Arlene Hibl, click here.


Pictured above: DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer (left) with Arlene Hibl

22 North Shore Centers Designated as “Best Nursing Home” in the US

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in health care rankings, has identified the Best Nursing Homes for 2018-19. 22 North Shore Healthcare centers made the list with each of them receiving a High-Performing rating on either their Overall or Short-Stay Rehabilitation rating.

One significant change to the rating process was the addition of the Short-Stay Rehabilitation rating. The new rating aims to provide patients with a clearer view of the quality of care provided by nursing homes to short-stay patients in need of intensive rehabilitation or nursing services before they return home after a surgery, stroke, accident or illness. As a provider of both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation, North Shore is proud to be designated as a High-Performer in this category.

Please see the list below for all of our Best Nursing Home designees.