-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer
surgery rates vary significantly across Canada, a new study
Breast cancer surgery is the most common treatment for early
stage breast cancer. Surgical options include breast removal
(mastectomy) or breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy with
radiation therapy). Long-term survival is similar with both
Researchers analyzed data from more than 57,800 women across
Canada who had breast cancer surgery between 2007 to 2008 and 2009
to 2010. Patients younger than 49 and older than 70 had a higher
mastectomy rate (48 percent) than middle-aged patients (40
Mastectomy rates were highest in Newfoundland and Labrador at 69
percent and lowest in Quebec at 26 percent, according to the study
published in the June 17
Canadian Medical Association Journalonline.
The farther away breast cancer patients lived from radiation
facilities, the more likely they were to have a mastectomy. The
researchers also found that the richest women were less likely to
have a mastectomy than the poorest women -- 39 percent vs. 49
Among women who had lumpectomy, 23 percent underwent surgery a
year later to remove cancerous tissue. However, this rate varied
substantially depending on the province or territory where patients
About 6 percent of patients who had the breast with cancer
removed also later had their other breast removed as a preventive
measure, which is about half the rate in the United States.
The findings are "an important first step in understanding how
care can be improved," according to Dr. Geoff Porter in a journal
news release. Porter is chair of surgical oncology and professor of
surgery at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
breast cancer treatment.
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