Many breast cancer patients can skip chemo, confirms landmark study

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

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

Studies have shown that women in the low risk category can effectively be treated without receiving chemotherapy, while those with a high risk of recurrence do need chemo.

TAILORx, a phase 3 clinical trial, opened in 2006 and was created to provide an evidence-based answer to the question of whether hormone therapy alone is not inferior to hormone therapy plus chemotherapy.

The government-funded study, dubbed TAILORx, involved more than 10,000 women with breast cancer that had not spread to nearby lymph nodes, whose tumours responded to hormone therapy, and tested negative for the HER2 gene. The trial enrolled 10,273 women with this type of breast cancer at 1,182 sites in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Peru. "This clinical trial is looking at women who have slightly higher risk scores - technically considered to be in the intermediate risk range". It was the women in the intermediate stages of 11-25 who oncologists often had differing views when prescribing standards of care.

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"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". Furthermore, 83.3% of those from the endocrine-only group were cancer free, while 84.3% of those from the combined therapy were cancer free.

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. At five years, the overall survival rate was 98.0 percent for those who received hormone therapy alone and 98.1 percent for those who received both therapies, and at nine years the respective overall survival rates were 93.9 percent and 93.8 percent. This confirms similar findings from earlier studies.

Cancer care has been evolving away from chemotherapy - older drugs with harsh side effects - in favor of gene-targeting therapies, hormone blockers and immune system treatments.

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. Many women think "if I don't get chemotherapy I'm going to die, and if I get chemo I'm going to be cured", but the results show there's a sliding scale of benefit and sometimes none, he said.

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