Many Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemo

Pancreatic cancer patients could live more than twice as long if given chemotherapy and radiation treatment before surgery

Pancreatic cancer patients could live more than twice as long if given chemotherapy and radiation treatment before surgery

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. The mid-range scoring women, who made up 69% of the women in the study, were randomly assigned to receive endocrine therapy alone, or a combination of endocrine therapy and chemotherapy.

There was no significant difference in the number of serious side effects experienced between the two groups of patients, the researchers said. All had surgery and hormone treatment, and half got chemo.

He says breast cancer patients fall into three categories: Low-risk, which does not require chemo, high-risk - which demands the treatment, and an intermediate category they call "the grey area", where he says this new research now clarifies.

There are several ways you can lower your risk of breast cancer: Get an annual breast screening, for most women this begins at age 40; be physically active and exercise; reduce lifetime weight by making healthy food choices; avoid smoking; limit alcohol intake; and practice meditation, do yoga or find other ways to reduce stress.

A new study published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine may drastically change how medical professionals approach treating women diagnosed with breast cancer.

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.


When the diagnosis is cancer, the prescription can be another scary word: chemotherapy. When the researchers analyzed premenopausal women and those younger than 50 years old at the higher end of the intermediate-risk range (16-25) separately, the results showed there may be a small benefit from chemotherapy, and thus these women should consider chemotherapy with their doctor.

"The results of PREOPANC trial certainly strengthens the argument for it", said Chang.

"For women over 50, we can feel quite confident that using the data in this trial to prevent the use of chemotherapy for women with those scores".

There is one caveat to the new findings.

- Local breast cancer doctors are excited about the results of a trial involving 10,000 women.

New research is changing the way we look at cancer treatments, specifically breast cancer. Since 1998, when the charity stamp was authorized by Congress and first issued by the United States Postal Service, more than $86 million has been raised for breast cancer research.

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