Differences in Breast Cancer Surgery 

are found in a study on quality of life

From a study "Life After Breast Cancer: Understanding Women's Health-Related Quality of Life and Sexual Functioning" By Patricia Ganz, Julia H. Rowland et al

The purpose of the study was to "describe the health-related quality of life, partner relationships, sexual functioning, and body image concerns of breast cancer survivors in relation to age, menopausal status and type of cancer treatment".

General results indicated that survivors" report more frequent physical and menopausal symptoms than healthy women, yet report quality of life and sexual functioning comparable to that of healthy age-matched women. Nevertheless some survivors experience poorer functioning..."

This study was conducted in Los Angeles, CA and in Washington, D.C. Wome in the study had a diagnosis of Stage 0, I or II. They were between 1 and 5 years after diagnosis and had completed local and/or systemic adjuvant cancer therapy. The women were currently considered disease-free and were not receiving any treatment beyond Tamoxifen. The women who eventually chose to participate in the study tended to be "younger than the general population of breast cancer patients."

"As expected from the epidemiology of breast cancer, the African-American women were slightly younger than the white women, and therefore received Tamoxifen less frequently. Fewer African-American women were married compared with white women (52% v 64%) and more were divorced or widowed."

"Among ethnic groups, there were significant differences in types of surgery perfomed for breast cancer, with fewer African-American women receiving breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy) than the white or other women (36% African-American v 55% white, v 42% other). In addition, fewer African-American women received reconstructive surgery along with their mastectomy."

This study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 16, No 2 (February) 1998:pp501-514

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