Home Health News Most women with smaller breast cancer tumors can safely skip chemo, study finds

Most women with smaller breast cancer tumors can safely skip chemo, study finds

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Dr. Larry Norton:

Yes.

Well, we do this test of 21 genes. It’s called the Oncotype DX test. And it tells us a scale from zero to 100 which relates to the risk of the cancer spreading to another part of the body. Very low scores, up to 10, it’s a very low chance that these patients get hormone therapy, and chemotherapy doesn’t help them. We have known that for a long time.

Very high scores are at increased risk of the cancer spreading, and those patients have benefited a lot by chemotherapy. And we have known that also. But the intermediate patients with scores of 11 to 25, we have not known what’s best for them. Should we give them chemotherapy? Should we not give them chemotherapy? What is the best option for these individuals? We haven’t had guidance.

Now we do. This very large, very important study is telling us that people with those intermediate scores have a very good prognosis and that prognosis is not improved by chemotherapy. So they don’t have to receive chemotherapy.

And that’s just a wonderful thing, to look somebody in the eye and say, you have got a great prognosis. Your odds of being cured are terrific, and you don’t need chemotherapy because you don’t need it. You have got a great prognosis and chemotherapy won’t help.

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to look somebody in the eye and give them that information.

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