Good news for women with breast cancer many don't need chemotherapy
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Over time, the two groups fared equally well. Chemo had no advantage. After nine years, 93.9 percent were still alive in the endocrine-only group, versus 93.8 percent in those who also got chemo. In the endocrine group, 83.3 percent were free of invasive disease, compared with 84.3 percent who got both treatments. There were no significant differences.

But the researchers wrote that the chemotherapy benefit varied with the combination of recurrence score and age, “with some benefit of chemotherapy found in women 50 years of age or younger with a recurrence score of 16 to 25.”

Bari Brooks, 58, a patient of Dr. Mayer’s from White House, Tenn., learned from a mammogram that she had breast cancer in 2009 when she was 49. Dr. Mayer told her she was a candidate for chemo, and also for the study — in which she might or might not get chemo.

Could she handle the risk of missing out on a treatment that might save her life? Or the risk of side effects that might be needless?

“It wasn’t even a decision I had to think about,” said Ms. Brooks, who works in human relations for Vanderbilt University. “It was yes, I want to do it.” She

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Article originally posted at
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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