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New AHRQ Booklet Explains Breast Cancer Surgery Options in Spanish

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Press Release Date: September 22, 2005

HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced today a new booklet to help Hispanic women recently diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. The booklet provides evidence-based information to help women choose between lumpectomy, a breast-sparing procedure that is followed by radiation therapy; mastectomy, or removal of the entire breast; and mastectomy with breast reconstruction surgery.

Las primeras etapas del cáncer de seno. ¿Cuáles son sus opciones si tiene que operarse? is the Spanish-language version of Surgery Choices for Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer, which was published by the National Cancer Institute recently in cooperation with AHRQ, HHS' Office on Women's Health, and other public and private partners.

Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer among Hispanic women. An estimated 11,000 Hispanic women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Most women operated on for early-stage breast cancer will lead long, healthy lives. But the type of surgery a woman chooses can affect how she looks and feels," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "This tool helps the Spanish-speaking woman decide, with her surgeon, the type of procedure that is best for her." Dr. Clancy added that early detection of breast cancer—a key message of this year's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which begins October 1—is critical to treating the disease in its early stage.

Included in the booklet are side-by-side comparisons of questions and answers for each procedure, such as whether the type of surgery a woman chooses will affect how long she lives, what the chances are that her cancer will return after surgery, and what her breast will look like after surgery.

The booklet was developed as part of an AHRQ program to help patients facing a choice of therapies make informed decisions based on the latest scientific evidence.

Free copies of the printed versions of the booklets can be ordered by calling the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or by sending an E-mail to

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1539 or (301) 427-1241.


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