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Gaps in the provision of radiotherapy for early breast cancer

15 months
Approved budget:
Dr Karen Bartholomew
Dr Mazin Ghafel
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Breast Cancer Register Project
Lay summary
Breast cancer is the third leading cause of death for Maori and non-Maori women in New Zealand, and Maori women are more likely to develop breast cancer and to die from it than non-Maori women. Standard treatment for early breast cancer is breast conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy, delivered daily over several weeks. International evidence indicates that some women receive this treatment regime despite being eligible for opting for mastectomy (thereby avoiding the need for radiotherapy) and others do not complete their course of radiotherapy following breast conserving surgery. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent and causes of New Zealand women with early breast cancer receiving mastectomy or being undertreated with radiotherapy following breast conserving surgery, with a focus on the effect of differences in ethnicity and District Health Board (DHB).