MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Isabelle Bedrosian, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery,
Medical Director, Nellie B. Connelly Breast Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Bedrosian: There have been a number of reports on the rates of Breast Conserving Therapy (BCT) and mastectomy among women with early stage breast cancer. These reports have been discordant, with some suggesting that index mastectomy rates have increased and others suggestion Breast Conserving Therapy rates have actually increased. We hypothesized that these differences in reporting may be due to data source (ie tertiary referral centers vs population based studies) and turned to the NCDB, which captures 70% of cancer cases in the US and as such provides us with the most comprehensive overview on patient treatment patterns.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Bedrosian: The most important message is that the majority of women with early stage breast cancer are opting for Breast Conserving Therapy, and this proportion has increased over time. This increase over time has come in part due to improvements in age based use, geographic disparity and practice based disparities. These are all very important gains.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Bedrosian: Our results also indicate that further improvements in rates of Breast Conserving Therapy will likely only be made when we address some of the socio-economic factors that currently appear to be driving the disparities in the surgical treatment of breast cancer. Therefore, there is a need to better define the factors behind these socio-economic disparities. These socio-economic factors are likely surrogates for the broad range of considerations such as child care, transportation challenges, time of work, cultural beliefs, etc. Better clarity on these fronts is needed in order to implement strategies to overcome these socio-economic gaps in use of Breast Conserving Therapy for treatment of early stage breast cancer.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isabelle Bedrosian, M.D., F.A.C.S., Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery,, Medical Director, Nellie B. Connelly Breast Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (2015). Breast Cancer Conserving Surgery Still Faces Socioeconomic Challenges