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This study aimed to investigate type of loco-regional treatment received, associated treatment factors and mortality outcomes in New Zealand women with early-stage breast cancer who were eligible for breast conserving surgery (BCS). This is a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from the Auckland and Waikato Breast Cancer Registers and involves 6972 women who were diagnosed with early-stage primary breast cancer (I-IIIa) between 1 January 2000 and 31 July 2015, were eligible for BCS and had received one of four loco-regional treatments: breast conserving surgery (BCS), BCS followed by radiotherapy (BCS + RT), mastectomy (MTX) or MTX followed by radiotherapy (MTX + RT), as their primary cancer treatment. About 66.1% of women received BCS + RT, 8.4% received BCS only, 21.6% received MTX alone and 3.9% received MTX + RT. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify demographic and clinical factors associated with the receipt of the BCS + RT (standard treatment). Differences in the uptake of BCS + RT were present across patient demographic and clinical factors. BCS + RT was less likely amongst patients who were older (75+ years old), were of Asian ethnicity, resided in impoverished areas or areas within the Auckland region and were treated in a public healthcare facility. Additionally, BCS + RT was less likely among patients diagnosed symptomatically, diagnosed during 2000-2004, had an unknown tumour grade, negative/unknown oestrogen and progesterone receptor status or tumour sizes ≥ 20 mm, ≤50 mm and had nodal involvement. Competing risk regression analysis was undertaken to estimate the breast cancer-specific mortality associated with each of the four loco-regional treatments received. Over a median follow-up of 8.8 years, women who received MTX alone had a higher risk of breast cancer-specific mortality (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.38, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05-1.82) compared to women who received BCS + RT. MTX + RT and BCS alone did not have any statistically different risk of mortality when compared to BCS + RT. Further inquiry is needed as to any advantages BCS + RT may have over MTX alternatives.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Environ Res Public Health

Publication Date





associated factors, breast conserving therapy, mastectomy, survival, Aged, Breast Neoplasms, Combined Modality Therapy, Female, Humans, Mastectomy, Mastectomy, Segmental, Neoplasm Staging, New Zealand, Radiotherapy, Adjuvant, Retrospective Studies