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A Genetic Test on Early Stage Breast Cancer Can Eliminate the Chemotherapy Treatment Option

Trials were conducted in the UK to analyze the danger of tumors using a genetic test. In most cases, chemotherapy is used after surgery to lower the spread and recurrence of breast cancer. Chemotherapy saves a lot of lives, but it comes with uncomfortable side effects such as fatigue, permanent nerve pain, vomiting, infertility and even leukemia and heart failure, in rare cases.

  • The genetic test trial was conducted on 10,273 women, and approximately 70% of those with breast cancer in its early stages are likely to be treated safely without chemotherapy. The study was conducted on a tumor sample that was removed during surgery. The activity levels of 21 genes were analyzed to see how aggressive the cancer would be. These findings were specific to women with a common form of breast cancer. Cancer doctors said the findings meant that this group of women could be safely treated with just hormone therapy and surgery.
  • Presently, the women with a low test score don’t need chemotherapy, but there’s need for it in high test score women. Intermediate results are still unclear, but data shows they have the same survival rates whether with chemotherapy or not. The fundamental change showed a 93.9% nine-year survival rate without chemotherapy and 93.8% with chemo.
  • The most significant factor is that almost half of the patients with high risk for breast cancer recurrence might turn out to be low risk by genetic factors.
  • The breakthrough of the study can instantly transform breast cancer care for the better and also save money as approximately 3,000 women in the UK will no longer use chemotherapy every year.

This study emphasizes on early-stage breast cancers which haven’t spread to lymph nodes, do not have HER2 mutation and are still treatable using hormone therapy. These results can allow patients and doctors the individualized choice to avoid chemotherapy once they consider their uncertainty, risk, and tolerance for toxicity.



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