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BREAST CANCER TREATMENT

ANCHOR LEAD:  DOCTORS WHO TREAT BREAST CANCER ARE INCREASINGLY  TAILORING TREATMENT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Post-menopausal women with breast cancer that has spread to their lymph nodes and whose tumor cells have hormone receptors  fare better when both chemotherapy and hormone therapy are used, a recent study reported in the Lancet concluded.  Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, agrees with this conclusion.

PARK:  Overall  yes, as a population there seems to be benefit to these women with advanced breast cancers in getting both chemotherapy and hormone therapy and there’s a suggestion, it wasn’t statistically significant, but a suggestion, combining the therapies, that is chemotherapy and hormonal therapy, is a little bit worse than doing it sequentially, which again, is something we’ve always suspected, not just in terms of effectiveness but also in terms of combined toxicities.     :24

Women should discuss the strategy of tamoxifen use, or perhaps an aromatase inhibitor, after chemotherapy with their physician if their tumors meet these criteria, Park says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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