Background: The focus of this study was the relative survival rates of breast cancer patients whose treatment was breast-conserving surgery compared with that of mastectomy, adjusting for tumor size and nodal status because these factors may be intrinsically associated with mastectomy being the treatment of choice. Patient age was also accounted for in the model. By adjusting for these factors, we mitigate them as confounders of treatment choice in assessing effects on survival rates. Methods: Data were sourced from linked administrative data from the Western Australian Department of Health Record Linkage Unit. The data consisted of linked records containing the diagnosis, subsequent hospital admission, and death records of about 3000 women diagnosed with cancer in Western Australia between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 1999. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to investigate survival outcomes of breast-conserving surgery compared with that of mastectomy, adjusting for tumor size, nodal status, and subject age. Results: The hazard of death is reduced by a factor of about one half for subjects whose treatment was breast-conserving surgery over treatment by mastectomy. Furthermore, the hazard of death increases substantially for subjects with nodal involvement over subjects for whom there has been no identified spread to regional lymph nodes. Hazard of death increases as both age and tumor size increase. Conclusions: Western Australian breast cancer patients treated with breast-conserving surgery have improved survival outcomes over those treated with mastectomy, after allowing for tumor size, patient age, and lymph node involvement.