Reconstruction After Mastectomy Less Likely for Blacks

Rates vary by ethnicity for breast cancer patients

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TUESDAY, Aug. 24, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Black American women are less likely than women of other races to have breast reconstruction after mastectomy, says a study published in the online edition of the journal Cancer.

Researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reviewed data from more than 1,000 breast cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies.

Compared with white, Hispanic and Asian women, black women were much less likely to have immediate breast reconstruction following mastectomy. Black and Asian women had lower rates of delayed breast reconstruction compared with white women.

Middle Eastern women had lower rates of immediate reconstruction but higher rates of delayed reconstruction compared to white women, the study found.

The findings indicate that doctors were less likely to offer referrals for breast reconstruction or to recommend breast reconstruction to black women, the study authors wrote. They added that black women were also less likely to accept a referral for breast reconstruction or accept the surgeon's recommendation for reconstruction.

The factors influencing these differences require further study, the authors wrote in a prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about breast reconstruction.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. news release, Aug. 23, 2004

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