Fears Māori with breast cancer are missing out on reconstructive surgery

By Jessica Tyson, Te Ao - Māori News

There are fears Māori women with breast cancer are missing out on reconstructive surgery.

A survey of patients at Counties Manukau District Health Board in 2017 found 177 women underwent a mastectomy and 26 had government-funded breast reconstruction surgery. However, there were no Pasifika women and only one Māori in this group.

Dr Jenny Wagner, who led the research, says many of those who missed out didn't meet the risk assessment criteria to ensure a successful surgery.

Wagner and reconstruction surgeon at Middlemore Hospital Dr Michelle Locke are working on ways to support Māori and Pasifika women who would like the surgery.

More to come.