Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeChemoWhen Is Chemo Not Needed For Breast Cancer

When Is Chemo Not Needed For Breast Cancer

What Does It Mean To Have Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Nearly 70 percent of early breast cancer patients may not need chemotherapy: Study

In Stage 1 breast cancer, cancer is evident, but it is contained to only the area where the first abnormal cells began to develop. The breast cancer has been detected in the early stages and can be very effectively treated.

Stage 1 can be divided into Stage 1A and Stage 1B. The difference is determined by the size of the tumor and the lymph nodes with evidence of cancer.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Neoadjuvant Therapy

Patients should meet a few requirements to be a candidate for neoadjuvant therapy. The size of the tumor, the type of breast cancer they have, and whether lymph nodes are involved are all things a doctor will consider before suggesting this form of treatment. Some forms of breast cancer are more likely to respond well to neoadjuvant therapy.

Unless a tumor is small and there is no lymph node involvement, most patients who have eitherHER2-positive breast cancer or triple-negative are good candidates for using chemotherapy either before or after their mastectomy.

With the best outcomes, this therapy can eliminate all visible tumors from the breast and produce what is known as a pathologic complete response to the treatment. That means the doctor will find no trace of the invasive tumor in the breast or the lymph nodes after the patient has received treatment.

Women who have estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, which is the most common type, may not be good candidates for neoadjuvant therapy. Instead, these patients may benefit from anti-estrogen treatment to help shrink their tumor before surgery.

Before You Start Chemotherapy

You need to have blood tests to make sure its safe to start treatment. You have these either a few days before or on the day you start treatment. You have blood tests before each round or cycle of treatment.

The pharmacists make chemotherapy for each person individually. They do this once your blood test results have come through. Its worked out based on your weight, height and general health.

You May Like: Metastatic Breast Cancer Mbc

Factors Your Physician Will Consider To Determine If Chemotherapy Is Recommended

If your physician has recommended that you have a total mastectomy, you may be wondering if your unique circumstances may require that you receive chemotherapy as well. Some of the factors that influence this decision include:

  • The type of cancer Chemotherapy may not be recommended for certain forms of breast cancer, such as in situ cancers, that are unlikely to spread to other areas. For other types of cancers, such as triple negative breast cancers or HER2-positive breast cancers, chemotherapy may be recommended following the total mastectomy because these forms of cancer are typically more aggressive.
  • The location of cancer cells If cancer is detected in the lymph nodes or has spread to areas outside of the breast tissue, chemotherapy will likely be recommended to remove any cancer cells that remain following the surgery.
  • Previous chemotherapy treatments If a patient has previously received chemotherapy and subsequently developed cancer again, it may not be recommended because it was not effective the first time.
  • The age of the patient Women who are premenopausal are more likely to have aggressive forms of breast cancer. This may also influence a physicians recommendation to include chemotherapy after a total mastectomy.

If you would like to learn more about the breast cancer treatment options that may be best for you, such as a total mastectomy and chemotherapy, call or fill out a new patient registration form online to schedule an appointment at Moffitt.

Chemo Not Always Needed Breast

No Chemotherapy: Latest in Breast Cancer Treatment

Some women are being treated for breast cancer with chemotherapy, when taking a pill would be just as effective, according to a study to be released today.

The study looks at one form of chemotherapy in postmenopausal women whose cancer was confined to their breasts.

The study found that women with hormone-sensitive tumors fared just as well taking the drug tamoxifen alone as did women who had chemotherapy and tamoxifen.

But both treatments together better helped women whose tumors were not sensitive to hormones.

The research suggests chemotherapy is not appropriate for all breast-cancer patients, who often suffer through hair loss, nausea and other side effects from the treatment.

Were hoping this study will question the routine use of chemotherapy in the group, said Richard D. Gelber, a biostatistician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who was involved in the study.

While the findings might help doctors avoid the unnecessary use of chemotherapy for some patients, doctors say the research ultimately calls attention to the need for better chemotherapy drugs.

The researchers used a regimen of chemotherapy referred to as CMF, which includes less-aggressive drugs often used for older patients who cannot tolerate more-toxic regimens.

In the study, 1,669 women were divided into groups depending on whether their cancers were sensitive to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of tumor cells.

Recommended Reading: What Is Stage 3a Cancer

The Types Of Radiotherapy

The type of radiotherapy you have will depend on the type of breast cancer and the type of surgery you have. Some women may not need to have radiotherapy at all.

Types of radiotherapy include:

  • breast radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery, radiation is applied to the whole of the remaining breast tissue
  • chest-wall radiotherapy after a mastectomy, radiotherapy is applied to the chest wall
  • breast boost some women may be offered a boost of high-dose radiotherapy in the area where the cancer was removed however, this may affect the appearance of your breast, particularly if you have large breasts, and can sometimes have other side effects, including hardening of breast tissue
  • radiotherapy to the lymph nodes where radiotherapy is aimed at the armpit and the surrounding area to kill any cancer that may be in the lymph nodes

Radiation Therapy And Mastectomy

Most women who have a mastectomy dont need radiation therapy if theres no cancer in the lymph nodes.

In some cases, radiation therapy is used after mastectomy to treat the chest wall, the axillary lymph nodes and/or the lymph nodes around the collarbone.

For a summary of research studies on mastectomy versus lumpectomy plus radiation therapy and overall survival in early breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.

For a summary of research studies on radiation therapy following mastectomy for invasive breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.

Don’t Miss: Carcinoma Left Breast

Screening For Breast Cancer

Women aged between 50 and 74 are invited to access free screening mammograms every two years via the BreastScreen Australia Program.

Women aged 40-49 and 75 and over are also eligible to receive free mammograms, however they do not receive an invitation to attend.

It is recommended that women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, aged between 40 and 49 or over 75 discuss options with their GP, or contact BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50.

Other Types Of Treatment For Cancer

Good news for breast cancer victim: Many not need chemotherapy

There are several types of cancer treatments available, and the list is always growing. Common cancer treatment options include:

  • Surgery: The surgeon removes the primary tumor and/or lymph nodes. Surgery is sometimes followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: This treatment uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapies: Targeted therapies target specific proteins on cancer cells. The advantage of this treatment is that it does not attack healthy cells like chemotherapy does.
  • Hormone therapy: These drugs can slow the growth of certain types of cancers by blocking hormones in the body.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy works by boosting the immune systems response to help it become more effective at fighting cancer cells.

You May Like: Estrogen Negative Cancer

Treatment For Stage 2 Breast Cancer

The most common for stage 2 breast cancer is surgery.


In most cases, treatment involves removing the cancer. The person may undergo a lumpectomy or mastectomy. The doctors and the individual can decide based on the size and location of the tumor. The surgeon may also remove one or more lymph nodes.

Combination therapy

A doctor may recommend a combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy to people with stage 2A or 2B breast cancer.

Neoadjuvant therapy

In some cases, a doctor may recommend neoadjuvant therapy, which is chemotherapy before surgery to reduce the size of a tumor.

are 3A, 3B, and 3C.

3A breast cancer is an invasive breast cancer where:

  • There is no tumor in the breast, or a tumor of any size is growing alongside cancer found in four to nine axillary lymph nodes or the lymph nodes by the breastbone.
  • A person has a tumor greater than 5 cm. They also have clusters of breast cancer cells in the lymph nodes that are between 0.22 mm in diameter.
  • The tumor is larger than 5 cm. The cancer has also spread to one to three axillary lymph nodes or the lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Stage 3B breast cancer is invasive breast cancer where:

  • A tumor of any size has spread into the chest wall or skin of the breast, causing swelling or an ulcer to develop.
  • Cancer cells may also be present in to up to nine axillary lymph nodes.
  • They may be present in lymph nodes by the breastbone.

Chemotherapy Not Required For Many With Breast Cancer: Study

A new study has found many women living with breast cancer actually dont require chemotherapy to treat the disease.

The new research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found women with early-stages of the disease can actually forego chemo with no risk to the health later in life. Scientists came to the conclusion by performing a test that measures the activity of genes involved in breast cancer recurrence.

In Australia, there were 17,730 new cases of breast cancer last year, while the number sat at 252,710 in the United States.

Speaking to Starts at 60, Prof Sanchia Aranda, CEO of Cancer Council Australia explained what the research actually means for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

What this paper has shown is one of the commonest forms of breast cancer, HER2-negative tumours, so about 50 per cent of all women with breast cancer, that you can predict whether or not those women will need chemotherapy, Prof Aranda explained to Starts at 60.

They looked at around 10,000 women and about 69 per cent of those women had what are considered mid-level scores. They randomised those to receive either just hormone therapy or hormone plus chemotherapy. Theyve identified that the results are equivalent, so those women with that particular genetic pre-disposition score could avoid chemotherapy altogether. This is good news for those women.

Read more: Breast cancer treatment could be dumped under new health cover plan

Read Also: Stage 3c Breast Cancer

Sex Contraception And Pregnancy

You can still have sex during treatment. Its thought that chemotherapy drugs cant pass into vaginal fluids or semen, but this cant be completely ruled out as chemotherapy drugs can pass into the blood and some other body fluids. Most treatment teams will advise using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms during treatment, and for a few days after chemotherapy is given.

If you havent been through the menopause, its important to use contraception because chemotherapy drugs can harm a developing baby in the first three months of pregnancy. Its still possible to become pregnant even if your periods become irregular or stop completely.

Your specialist will usually recommend barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms. The contraceptive pill is not usually recommended because it contains hormones. Emergency contraception such as the morning after pill can still be used.

An interuterine device can be used as long as its not the type that releases hormones. If you have a coil in place that does release hormones, such as the Mirena or Jaydess, when youre diagnosed, you may be advised to have this removed.

Find out more about how breast cancer and its treatment can affect sex and intimacy and read our tips on how to manage these changes.

Radiotherapy For Breast Cancer

Complete Blood Count During Breast Cancer Treatment

Radiotherapy uses high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. You usually have 3 weeks of radiotherapy after having breast conserving surgery. But in some hospitals, you may have this treatment over a shorter time.

Some people might have radiotherapy after a mastectomy. This depends on the stage of the cancer.

Read Also: Breast Cancer Curable

Doctors Have Provided Women With Chemo Treatment After Mastectomy Surgery And Lumpectomy Surgery For Years To Prevent The Spread And Recurrence Of Cancer What Has Changed

It may seem both enticing and scary go without Chemotherapy. The side effects are physically demanding, yet its proven for years to kill cancer in the body and keep it from spreading.

However, according to the recent New York Times article based on a clinical study, TAILORx, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 96% of women with an early-stage diagnosis are over treated with Chemotherapy.

The medical study tested more than 10,000 women with 70% in the testing range that foregoes chemotherapy treatments. These women were then divided into two groups. Half received chemotherapy after surgery and radiation the other half did not.

Seven years of follow-up on these patients proved that Chemo has no advantage to Endocrine Therapy, a treatment with less harsh side effects.

Healthbrca Mutations Don’t Hurt Breast Cancer Survival

The new study followed 9,717 women with early-stage disease, ages 18 to 75, with estrogen-receptor-positive, HER2-negative cancers that had not spread to the lymph nodes cases where doctors have been unsure whether chemo would be helpful.

Of the 9,717 women, 6,711, or 67 percent, had test scores indicating an intermediate risk of recurrence their score was 11 to 25. After surgery and radiation, those women were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy with an estrogen-blocking medication or just the estrogen hormone blocker.

Prior to the study, doctors knew women with a low score on the test, less than 11, were told they could skip chemo with no ill effects. Women at high risk, or scores of 26 or higher, were advised to have chemo.

The new study showed that women with intermediate risk, it made no difference in terms of recurrence whether a woman was treated with chemotherapy or not.

We didnt know if chemotherapy benefited women in this range,” said Dr. Sara Hurvitz, an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of breast medical oncology at the UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The study showed that if you take the group as a whole, there is no difference in the risk of recurrence when you compare chemotherapy to no chemotherapy.

Some cancer specialists have been postponing the decision to treat their newer patients with chemotherapy until the study findings were released.

Read Also: Breast Cancer Stage 3 Treatment

Where To Find Breast Cancer Treatment Near Me

Breast cancer patients should consult with their doctors and specialists to determine the best options for treatment. Neoadjuvant therapy may work best for some patients but others may require more traditional chemotherapy after their mastectomy. No matter what type of breast cancer they have, all patients need a customized therapy to avoid undertreatment or overtreatment. Your doctor or specialist can put together the right therapy and treatment options to provide you the best possible outcome.

For lab work and consultation about breast cancer and surgery options, get in touch with the BASS Medical Group experts. We offer laboratory exams that can determine your cancer diagnosis and provide other types of medical assistance as needed. Contact us today for more details.

Dont Miss: What Is The Name Of The Breast Cancer Gene

Breast Cancer: Types Of Treatment

Women with common breast cancer may not need chemotherapy, study says

Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here.

ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about the different types of treatments doctors use for people with breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.

This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer. Standard of care means the best treatments known. When making treatment plan decisions, you are strongly encouraged to consider clinical trials as an option. A clinical trial is a research study that tests a new approach to treatment. Doctors want to learn whether the new treatment is safe, effective, and possibly better than the standard treatment. Clinical trials can test a new drug and how often it should be given, a new combination of standard treatments, or new doses of standard drugs or other treatments. Some clinical trials also test giving less treatment than what is usually done as the standard of care. Clinical trials are an option to consider for treatment and care for all stages of cancer. Your doctor can help you consider all your treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials in the About Clinical Trials and Latest Research sections of this guide.

Recommended Reading: Does Getting Hit In The Breast Cause Cancer

What Is The Treatment For Her2

Treatment of HER2-positive cancer will depend on your overall health, age and specific needs. Doctors will discuss various cancer treatment options, including medications, with you and come up with a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

The typical treatment for HER2-positive cancer includes

  • Neoadjuvant therapy: This involves administering medications to reduce tumor size before the removal of the breast cancer tissue with surgery. This typically includes chemotherapy and other biologicals.
  • Surgery
  • Breast-conserving surgery
  • Mastectomy
  • Adjuvant therapy: This may be either medications or radiation therapy given after surgery to destroy the remaining cancer cells, if any. The medications may be the ones used in chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

    Popular Articles