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Number of women receiving radiation treatment may be inaccurate

In a recent study by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, researchers found that the number of breast cancer patients receiving radiation treatment may be lower than they previously thought.

The breast cancer health news come after researchers looked at the database used to determine if patients receive appropriate care and found that the number of patients that undergo radiation treatments may not be accurate.

The information is kept in the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry that is maintained by the National Cancer Institute. Its purpose is to obtain information on cancer incidence. The information is used by researchers to find any trends in the data.

"Researchers are increasingly using observational databases like SEER not only to document quality of care but also to try to understand things like the impact of radiation on clinical outcomes,” said Reshma Jagsi, associate professor of radiation oncology.

The study asked women in major cities about their treatment and then compared those numbers to the SEER database. In Los Angeles about one third of women's records did not match with what was found in SEER.

With skewed numbers it can be difficult for researchers to do work that will be beneficial for breast cancer care.
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