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A recent study by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston has found that the longer older women wait to receive radiation therapy after having breast cancer surgery, the greater the risk of cancer recurrence.
In the study, the researchers analyzed the records of more than 18,000 women over the age of 65 and found that those who began radiation therapy more than six weeks after breast cancer surgery were more likely to suffer from a local recurrence than patients who got treatment soon after the procedure.
They discovered that when the surgery-radiotherapy interval was longer than six weeks, the risk of local recurrence increased by 19 percent, according to Medical News Today.
The researchers also found that Hispanic and black women took longer, on average, to begin treatment, although they were not able to establish the reason for the delay.
"It could be factors such as access to care, the patients' ability to navigate the healthcare system, or physician referrals," said lead author Rinaa Punglia.
Each of the women involved in the study underwent breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy, but not chemotherapy, Health Day News reports.
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