Thursday February 20, 2020

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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COPD Rates in Women with HIV 54% Higher Than HIV-Negative Women: Study

54% higher rates of COPD in women with HIV, says a recent study by health researchers

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COPD
Rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among women living with HIV was 54 per cent higher than that of HIV-negative women. Pixabay

Researchers have found that the rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among women living with HIV was 54 per cent higher than that of HIV-negative women. This is the latest health news.

The study, published in the journal CMAJ Open, also showed that people in Ontario living with HIV had a 34 per cent (COPD) and were diagnosed with the disease about 12 years younger than HIV-negative individuals.

“As people with HIV live longer, it is important to understand how common other illnesses are to ensure that prevention, screening and treatment strategies can be developed,” said study researcher Tony Antoniou from St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada.

COPD affects over 380 million people worldwide and is projected to become the fourth leading global cause of death by 2030. It is potentially preventable and is strongly associated with smoking.

COPD
In a sensitivity analysis, the higher prevalence of smoking in people with HIV appeared to explain the higher risk of COPD in women. Pixabay

For the findings, the researchers analysed incidences of COPD among adults 35 years and older who were living with and without HIV between 1996 and 2015 in Ontario – where over 40 per cent of Canadians living with HIV reside.

People with HIV were diagnosed with COPD at a mean age of 50 years old compared with 62 for HIV-negative individuals, the research added.

“We wanted to understand how common COPD is in Ontario residents with HIV because COPD is a disease that generally worsens with time, can worsen a person’s quality of life and is strongly linked to smoking,” Antoniou said.

Also Read- IVF Babies Have 45% Higher Risk of Death before 1 Year of Age: Study

In a sensitivity analysis, the higher prevalence of smoking in people with HIV appeared to explain the higher risk of COPD in these patients.

“While other factors may contribute to the development of COPD in people with HIV, our work highlights the importance of trying to help our patients with HIV quit smoking to prevent COPD in the first place and prevent further lung damage in people who are already diagnosed with COPD,” Antoniou said. (IANS)