Breast Cancer Treatment Effectiveness in Older Women

Dr. Rebecca Silliman (Boston University), a member of the CRN Academic Liaison Committee, led this large-scale cohort study of the care and outcomes of 1,859 older women with breast cancer at six CRN sites. By reviewing medical records and using administrative data, information was collected on initial surgery, adjuvant treatments, long-term surveillance, and recurrence and mortality outcomes. The team compared the effectiveness of different treatment and surveillance patterns, and identified the characteristics of providers, tumors, and patients associated with various treatment choices. The study found that less-than-standard treatment is associated with increased rates of recurrence and breast cancer-specific mortality, while mammography surveillance during the first five years after diagnosis is associated with a reduced rate of breast cancer mortality.

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