Posts tagged surgery
Latinas and older, poorer women all are more likely to have lymph nodes under the armpit removed unnecessarily during breast cancer surgery, according to a new study, Reuters reports.
That’s despite 2005 guidelines recommending a gentler surgery that spares most of the lymph nodes, avoiding side effects like pain, swelling and numbness down the line.
Based on a California cancer registry, researchers found that more than a third of about 18,000 women who had undergone mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer had had their lymph nodes removed as well.
Yet all of these women had node-negative tumors, meaning the cancer had not spread beyond the breast.
A new study found that differences might exist in the amount of pain medicine given to Latino and white children after surgery, according to a Health Behavior News Service report.
The study, which appears in the February issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, found thay Latino children received 30 percent less opioid analgesics (i.e., morphine-like drugs) than white children did.
Here’s an excerpt from the news report:
During surgery, administration of non-opioid analgesics (such as acetaminophen) and opioid analgesics was similar between Latino and white children, said lead study author Nathalia Jimenez, M.D., of Seattle Children’s Hospital. However, the significant difference after surgery suggests that pain treatment in children has some correlation with the patient’s ethnicity, according to the authors.
“The population in the United States is changing. Twenty-five percent of all the kids are Latino,” Jimenez said. “This is a little window to see how different people are treated or react differently to pain.”
And another excerpt on the possible reason for the disparity:
The difference in treatment might have been due to communication difficulties between the health care providers and the patients and their families, according to the researchers, who also suggested that Latino children might need smaller amounts of opioid analgesics after surgery, perhaps due to biological factors.