Tuesday February 19, 2019

Chemotherapy May Not Be Needed To Treat Breast Cancer: Study

Because of this study, more women will will be able to get treated without the negative side effects of chemotherapy.

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Breast Cancer
. VOA

After a diagnosis of breast cancer, many women have surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. But a new study shows that if the cancer is caught early enough, women might be able to avoid the chemotherapy.

Since she was diagnosed with breast cancer last April, Amy Adam values family time even more.

“It made us aware that when it comes down to it, family is what matters,” she said.

Adam was lucky — a mammogram caught her cancer early… when the tumor was just three by four millimeters, smaller than the size of a pencil eraser. Her treatment — a lumpectomy… followed by radiation.

“No chemo, did not have chemo,” she said.

Dr. Emily Albright is a surgical oncologist at the University of Missouri Health Care. She says more women with early-stage breast cancer may be able to skip chemotherapy. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that genetic testing can determine the likelihood of the cancer returning.

The study found women with a low risk of the cancer recurring didn’t benefit from chemotherapy. Women with a high risk of recurrence do better with chemotherapy. But Albright says doctors didn’t know how to advise women in the mid-range.

“The recent results have clarified that for women at intermediate risk of recurrence, the majority of those do not benefit from chemotherapy,” she said.

breast cancer
FILE – A patient receives chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at the Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center in Nice, July 26, 2012. VOA

With genetic testing, doctors can determine the likelihood of a woman’s cancer returning. Most people know that nausea, hair loss and fatigue result from chemotherapy, but chemotherapy can also cause heart and nerve damage.

Albright says the results of this study will help many patients whose breast cancer is caught early.

“As we learn more about the biology, weʼre able to tailor treatments to the specific type of tumor that a patient has, so there are some small tumors that may be more aggressive and there may be some larger tumors that are less aggressive,” she said.

Also Read: Common Chemotherapy Drug May Lead To Heart Failure: Study

Screening was key in catching Amy Adam’s cancer early. Mammograms can detect a lump two years before a woman can even feel it.

Adam said it was a huge relief not to have to undergo chemotherapy. Because of this study, more women will will be able to get treated without the negative side effects of chemotherapy. (VOA)

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

Also Read- Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)