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One breast cancer treatment is favored by patients. But for many Native women, it's inaccessible

Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 12:56pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 1:45pm
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A team of Indigenous researchers at the University of Arizona is out this week with new findings that shed light on access to care for Native American women.

When it comes to breast cancer treatment, there are two approaches: a mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed, or a lumpectomy, also known as breast-conserving surgery. While it’s always case by case, outcomes for women who undergo both approaches are the same, and patients report less pain and better quality of life with lumpectomies.

But, it’s time consuming — paired with often daily radiation treatments. And that could prove difficult for patients who live on remote reservation land.

Jennifer Erdrich is an assistant professor of surgery at University of Arizona College of Medicine, and she helped lead the research. The Show spoke with her to learn about the disparities they found.

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