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Breast-Conserving Therapy Rates on the Rise

But many with early-stage disease still choose mastectomy

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The percentage of women with early-stage breast cancer who undergo breast-conserving therapy (BCT) has risen slowly in recent years, new research shows. The study was published online June 17 in JAMA Surgery.

The new study draws from a database that’s more complete than those used in other research, Isabelle Bedrosian, M.D., an associate professor of surgical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, told HealthDay. Her team looked at data on women treated for early-stage breast cancer between 1998 and 2011. The researchers looked at factors that influenced the surgery decision made by 727,927 women.

The investigators found that BCT was more likely in women aged 52 to 61 compared to younger women, as well as in women with higher education. BCT was less likely in lower-income women, and less likely among those without insurance compared to those with private insurance. In 1998, 54.3 percent of eligible women underwent BCT. This number rose to 60.1 percent by 2011, according to the study.

“Breast-conservation rates may well continue to rise as women become better-informed regarding its safety and as we become more successful with early detection of breast cancer, when lumpectomy is more likely to be feasible,” Lisa Newman, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor and author of an accompanying editorial, told HealthDay.

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