Most Breast Cancer Can Be Treated Without Chemotherapy

June 4, 2018

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Some groundbreaking news was released yesterday that means 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not need chemotherapy to treat the disease. A decade-long study analyzed how well a widely used genetic test assessed cancer risk, based on 21 genes linked with breast cancer recurrence. The study found that most women with early-stage cancer that hasn't spread to lymph nodes and is fueled by estrogen or progesterone, will only surgery and hormone therapy to be effective instead of the standard chemotherapy treatment.  While chemotherapy is effective in killing cancer cells, it has devastating side effects, including anemia, a weakened immune system, hair loss, diarrhea, fatigue and memory loss. Researchers followed the women for an average of nine years and at the end of that time they found 83.3% of those on hormone therapy alone had not developed a recurrence or a second primary cancer, compared to the rate of 84.3% for those who had both hormone and chemotherapy. The overall survival rate was similar: 93.9% for those who received hormone therapy alone and 93.8% for those who received both therapies. Another reason why early detection through scheduled breast exams can mean a better and longer life for those diagnosed with breast cancer.


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