KeepHealthCare.ORG – Why 70 percent of early-stage breast cancer patients can skip chemo
BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) – When the diagnosis is cancer, the prescription can be another scary word: chemotherapy.
But now, a new study is shining light on breast cancer prognoses and the necessity, or lack thereof, for chemotherapy for many breast cancer patients.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, says about 70 percent of women with early-stage breast cancer don’t need chemotherapy based on results of the a widely used genetic test, the Oncotype DX breast recurrence score test. Dr. Erin Fleener from the Cancer Clinic in Bryan says her practice is heartened by the results of this study; she’s been using the Oncotype DX test for years.
“The science is really really cool,” said Fleener. “We know that we can use this data and tell women firmly, ‘You don’t need chemotherapy; you’re going to do so well without it.'”
The test is performed on tumor samples after surgery, to determine if chemo would indeed benefit a patient. Fleener says it’s all part of the ongoing project to treat and cure breast cancer.
“The story on breast cancer just continues to evolve,” said Fleener. “We originally, years ago, just did surgery, and then for many many years, everybody got chemotherapy, and now we know that we have these anti-hormonal drugs and pills that women can take.”
For more from Fleener, see the video player above. To learn more about the Cancer Clinic in Bryan, see the Related Links.