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Breast cancer is the third leading cause of death for Maori and non-Maori women in New Zealand, and Maori women are more likely to develop breast cancer and to die from it than non-Maori women. Standard treatment for early breast cancer is breast conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy, delivered daily over several weeks. International evidence indicates that some women receive mastectomy despite being eligible for opting for mastectomy (thereby avoiding the need for radiotherapy) and others do not complete their course of radiotherapy following breast conserving surgery.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent and causes of New Zealand women with early breast cancer receiving mastectomy or being undertreated with radiotherapy following breast conserving surgery, with a focus on the effect of differences in ethnicity and DHB.