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Study: Costly breast cancer treatment more common at for-profit hospitals

Kaiser Health News, April 29, 2014

Older breast cancer patients who received radiation treatment after surgery were more likely to undergo a more expensive and somewhat controversial type of radiation called brachytherapy if they got their care at for-profit rather than nonprofit hospitals, a new study reports. Among the oldest group studied – women in their 80s and early 90s who are least likely to benefit from the regimen – the odds of receiving the more expensive brachytherapy were significantly higher at for-profit hospitals, the study found. The research, funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was published Monday in the May issue of the journal Surgery.