Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Many breast cancer patients can safely skip chemotherapy

Many breast cancer patients can safely skip chemotherapy

Although the new findings are extremely promising for women who have early-stage breast cancer, the conclusions may not apply to those who have larger tumors or those battling cancer that has spread throughout the body.

However, chemotherapy did offer some benefit to women aged 50 and younger who had a cancer recurrence score of 16-25, the researchers found.

However an estimated 25% of patients stop within two years because they can not endure the side effects, lead author Dr Sherry Shen, of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, said.

The usual treatment is surgery followed by years of a hormone-blocking drug.

In the study, women were deemed to have a medium level risk of the cancer recurrence based on a 21-gene panel known as Oncotype DX.

"It does tend to cause significant side effects such as fatigue and hair loss issues that really do trouble women", said Moore.

Around half of women taking aromatase inhibitors, a common drug for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer, experience joint pain.

Cancer treatment has been growing from chemotherapy - elderly drugs When chemo is utilized today, it is occasionally for shorter intervals or lower doses than it was.

Over the years, the Cancer Institute has used its $59.8 million in proceeds for studies trying to improve early detection and to determine which cancers are most risky and need heaviest treatment and which are less so. Women deemed at intermediate risk may be considered for it, but on a patient-to-patient basis. "These data confirm that using a 21-gene expression test to assess the risk of cancer recurrence can spare women unnecessary treatment if the test indicates that chemotherapy is not likely to provide benefit".

After undergoing surgery and radiation, the women randomly received either chemotherapy plus endocrine therapy or endocrine therapy alone.

New research is changing the way we look at cancer treatments, specifically breast cancer.

The new results are on the 67 percent of women at intermediate risk.

Dr. Jennifer Litton at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, agreed, but said, "Risk to one person is not the same thing as risk to another".

"And it's really preventing women from taking these medications that are created to prevent them getting a recurrence of their breast cancer".

The study was supported in part by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Komen Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Stamp.

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