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Where a Woman Lives May Affect Her Breast Cancer Treatment

Where a Woman Lives May Affect Her Breast Cancer Treatment

Women in the Northeast US are more likely to receive breast-conservation therapy, while those in the South are more often recommended for mastectomies for the treatment of invasive breast cancer, according to a study presented at the 9th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS), held April 30 to May 4 in New York. The study examined data in the massive American College of Surgeons National Cancer Database Benchmark Reports broken down by US census regions. It found that where a woman lives is a significant predictor of her initial invasive breast cancer treatment protocol, independent of such factors as race, age, economic status, and stage at diagnosis.

According to the research, 69.9% of women with breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast ducts or lobules into surrounding breast tissue have only a portion of the breast that contains the tumor removed (lumpectomy), while the remainder are treated with total breast removal (mastectomy). In the Western states, 62.8% receive conservation therapy, whereas conservation rates in the Midwest are 60.7% and in the South are 57.7%.

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