Breast Cancer Treatment Varies Globally

LEIDEN, Netherlands, April 15 (UPI) — U.S., European and Japanese researchers say breast cancer care varies widely around the world.

“Our study showed that despite international consensus guidelines, there are wide global variations in the way post-menopausal women are treated for early breast cancer,” study co-author C.J.H. van de Velde of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands said in a statement.

For example, the researchers found 89 percent of T1 tumors — less than 2 cm, or .80 inches — in France vs. 55 percent in the United States are treated with breast conserving surgery. T2 — up to 2-inches — tumor care also varies with 42 percent in France vs. 69 percent in the United States are treated with a mastectomy.

Study findings, published in the British Journal of Surgery, also included:

– International guidelines recommend radiotherapy as part of breast-conserving therapy but only France and Belgium report 100 percent treatment rates. Highest non-treatment rates are in the United Kingdom and Ireland –13 percent — and in Japan and the United States — 14 percent.

– The highest percentage of node-negative disease was observed in the countries with the highest percentage of T1 tumors — the United States, France and Germany.

– The overall mastectomy rate for all tumors is 44 percent — with the lowest rate in France at 19 percent and the highest at 56 percent in Greece.

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