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African American women with breast cancer less likely to have newer, recommended surgical procedure
Date:12/5/2012

atment, Caucasians and African Americans had similar risks of lymphedema if they had a SLN," says Benjamin Smith, M.D., assistant professor in MD Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology and the study's senior author. "This ties the treatment disparity to a disparity in outcome."

Overall, the findings were a surprise to Black and her team.

"We were surprised to learn that the disparity persisted through 2007 and that there was an adverse patient outcome, lymphedema, associated with the findings. However, when we controlled for tumor characteristics and types of breast surgery, there was still a significant difference," says Black.

"SLN is now a safe and integral part of the surgical management of early invasive breast cancer. Improving patient education and creating ways to ensure all healthcare providers know practice guidelines which they are able to implement, will help with this disparity. No early stage, appropriate patient should opt for less if properly educated," Black continues.


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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
832-264-8893
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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