According to a new study published in JAMA Surgery, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, have found that the rates of breast-conserving therapy for early-stage breast cancer have increased, but access to this treatment modality still remains an issue for some patients.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from approximately 728,000 women with stage T1 or T2 breast cancer treated between 1998 and 2011 from the National Cancer Data Base. Researchers found that the proportion of patients undergoing breast-conserving therapy increased from 54.3% in 1998 to 59.7% in 2006, and leveled off at 60.1% in 2011.
Results showed that certain demographic factors, such as insurance, income, and travel distance to treatment facilities, impact which patients have access to breast-conserving therapy; however, declines in disparities related to age, geographic region, and treatment facility type were also observed.
The findings suggest that the majority of women are opting for breast-conserving therapy, but various disparities still exist that limit access to that treatment approach.
The first comprehensive national review of breast-conserving therapy (BCT) shows that over the last 13 years rates of this treatment modality for early-stage breast cancer have increased at a steady pace.