KeepHealthCare.ORG – Study shows chemotherapy no longer necessary for thousands of breast cancer patients
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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When Lulu De Panbehchi went through chemotherapy, she expected to lose her hair.
But the Richmond woman wasn’t counting on the shooting pains through her hands, feet and face. “The one that really freaked me out was when I felt it in the center of my eyes,” said De Panbehchi.
She experienced neuropathy. It’s one of the many side effects of chemo.
That popular cancer treatment, however, may no longer be necessary for thousands of breast cancer patients.
“I think it’s definitely a game changer,” says Dr. Harry Bear. He was the principal investigator of a landmark study at VCU Massey Cancer Center.
Physicians there and at hospitals across the world looked at more than 10,000 patients.
The TAILORx study revealed 70 percent of women with the most common type of newly diagnosed breast cancer can now safely skip chemotherapy.
“Chemo is probably the most dreaded part of the treatment for a lot of women,” explained Dr. Bear, “If we can avoid chemo that doesn’t help them and avoid all the toxicity and side effects of chemo, that’s a big improvement.”
Research showed chemotherapy did not increase disease-free survival rates for patients with hormone responsive breast cancer.
For De Panbehchi, that’s encouraging news. The two-time breast cancer survivor knows the physical and emotional demands of chemo.
“It’s a lot of energy that you have to invest and your body’s being fried,” said De Pambehchi, “You have the financial issues and on top of that you to deal with family and friends and you have to do your work and I think it is exhausting.”
The TAILORx study is part of a growing trend of personalized treatment for breast cancer.
Doctors are now able to molecularly profile tumors which helps them determine the best way to cure the disease.