Women with Common Form of Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemotherapy

Women with Common Form of Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemotherapy

Women with Common Form of Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemotherapy

That's because they don't really benefit from it, according to a study published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers say, the results allowed them to separate women who would benefit from chemotherapy due to a higher risk of recurrent breast cancer, and those who tested at a lower risk and do not need chemo for treatment. "Not only have we shown that such treatment has a beneficial effect on disease control, but it also improves breast-cancer related survival", Philip Poortmans, head of the department of radiation oncology at the Institut Curie in Paris, said in a press release.

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society said that he was "delighted" by the study and anxious about unnecessary cancer treatment and the side effects that come from chemotherapy.

There is no known cure for breast cancer patients whose disease has spread so widely.

"Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer of women in Arkansas, one in eight". In addition, these early tumors must be sized at five centimeters or less and not invasive to the lymph nodes.

A 21-gene test called Oncotype Dx that has been around since 2004 has helped guide some decisions, post-surgery. "So we have two yes-no answers for each gene". The results are similar for women under 50 with a score between 0 and 15.

The study reportedly found that gene tests on the tumor samples could identify the women who are eligible to skip chemotherapy.

The breast cancer epicemic can not be reversed without considering women's exposure to chemical cocktails throughout their lives, argued Professor Andreas Kortenkamp of the University of London, presenting new scientific evidence to the European Parliament. "Most women in this situation don't need treatment beyond surgery and hormone therapy", he said, and "the rest of them are receiving chemotherapy unnecessarily".

That's great news, since the short-term side-effects of chemotherapy can include everything from nausea, hair loss, fatigue and infection, to numbness in hands and feet, and other symptoms.

Judy Perkins from Florida had been given three months to live by her doctors, but two years later there is no sign of cancer in her body. Of those women, 6,711 had test scores between 11 and 25, which placed them in the intermediate risk group.

Patients scoring 26 or higher on the scale do benefit and receive chemotherapy.

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Some of those women have already been skipping chemotherapy based on less rigorous research. Patients using both types of treatment had an overall survival rate of 93.8 percent.

The new study was funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Komen Foundation, and the U.S. Postal Service Breast Cancer Stamp.

That could affect up to 70,000 women a year in the US and thousands more around the world, the study said.

Being able to avoid chemotherapy would be a blessing for thousands of women with breast cancer. The most common chemotherapeutic regimens used to treat women in the dual, chemoendocrine therapy group were either a docetaxel-cyclophosphamide regimen or anthracycline-containing regimens.

But there is a note of caution in interpreting the study's findings.

However, among younger women with scores 16 to 25, outcomes were slightly better in the chemotherapy group, so in those cases, doctors may urge patients to consider a chemo regimen.

"Tumors grow more aggressively in premenopausal women, not just women under 50", Brawley said.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2017, hospice nurse Tonda Bettner says nothing can prepare you for chemotherapy.

"It's going to save tens of thousands of people from having to take unnecessary chemotherapy", said Butler.

Oncotype DX is becoming more standard.

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