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New Research Shows Many Women with Breast Cancer Don’t Need Chemo

By July 9, 2018No Comments

​Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women with one in nine developing the disease in her lifetime. This year, approximately 3,500 new cases of breast cancer are expected in the province of British Columbia.

Treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or a combination depending on an individual’s disease. Now a new international study published in New England Journal of Medicine, and covered extensively in the news, indicates that many women with early-stage hormone sensitive breast cancer do not necessarily need chemotherapy.

The study used a gene test on tumour samples to identify women who can safely avoid chemotherapy and instead take only a drug that blocks the hormone estrogen or stops the body from making it. This is called endocrine therapy and includes the drugs such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors such as letrozole, anastrazole or exemestane.