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Breast Cancer Treatment Options

Breast Cancer Treatment options

Your oncologist will offer you Conventional cancer treatments (chemo, surgery, etc) only.

However, research has shown that for most patients, these treatments alone do not result in long-term survival. All too often patients get short-term remission followed by a deadly recurrence.

Having surgery?

This study says: An intriguing controversy regarding the surgical treatment of breast cancer patients in the last two decades was initiated following a publication by Hrushesky et al. who reported that the timing of surgery for the resection of breast cancer tumors within the menstrual cycle influences disease recurrence and patient survival rates. Since then, several independent groups have corroborated these surprising findings, suggesting that the optimal time for the resection is the early luteal phase*. This phenomenon was independent of estrogen receptor status and more prominent in node-positive women.

The UK’s leading Complementary cancer charity, CANCERactive adds the following:
Choosing the correct point in your monthly cycle to have a breast operation can increase your 10-year survival chances by two thirdsEvery woman and their doctor should know this fact.

The Imperial Cancer Research Fund (Cancer, 15 Nov 1999) states clearly that Women having breast tumours removed during the follicular phase of their cycle (that is days 3-12 when their oestrogen is high) have a 10-year survival rate of only 45 per cent, compared to a 10-year survival rate of 75 per cent for women having surgery during the luteal phase (when progesterone is high).”

Indeed the research also showed that oestrogen receptor positive and progesterone receptor positive tumours had the highest survival rates if surgery was performed in the second half of a woman’s cycle.

This work confirmed an earlier study from Guy’s Hospital by Cooper, Gillett, Patel, Barnes and Fentiman in August 1999 and yet earlier work by Hrushesky et al (Lancet 1989).

[ *The luteal phase: The time between ovulation and before the start of menstruation]

Here’s a guide to your other treatment options:

Complementary therapies specifically for breast cancer.
Therapies that can be used alongside Conventional or Alternative Treatments to reduce treatment side-effects & pain and prolong survival. Includes Emotional and Spiritual Healing.

See more options at Cancer Survival Tips

Alternative Treatments
Used in place of Conventional treatments. Only available in private cancer treatment centres. A few can be self-administered at home.

Integrative Treatments
Uses a mix of conventional, complementary, and alternative treatments. Not available in Ireland but can be accessed in private clinics in Europe and worldwide.

Here are a few things to consider before agreeing to any treatment plan.

Diagnosed with non invasive breast cancer?
You have time to consider surgery options.

This 2020 study concluded: extended treatment delay (more than 90 days postdiagnosis) resulted in worse survival, in patients with invasive nonmetastatic and metastatic breast cancer, but not in patients with noninvasive breast cancer…

See also: Cancer Screening

Aggressive treatment of D.C.I.S. with radiotherapy or mastectomy does not prevent death from breast cancer.

This long-term study published in the journal JAMA Oncology says: The analysis of 20 years of patient data made the case for a less aggressive approach to treating a condition known as ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S., for which the current practice is nearly always surgery, and often radiation. The results suggest that the form of treatment may make no difference in outcomes.

TAILORx trial finds most women with early breast cancer do not benefit from chemotherapy

Source: National Cancer Institute

New findings from the groundbreaking Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx), or TAILORx trial, show no benefit from chemotherapy for 70 percent of women with the most common type of breast cancer. The study found that for women with hormone receptor (HR)positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node­–negative breast cancer, treatment with chemotherapy and hormone therapy after surgery is not more beneficial than treatment with hormone therapy alone. The new data, released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago, will help inform treatment decisions for many women with early-stage breast cancer.

Here are a few quick facts about the trial:

It was the largest randomised adjuvant breast cancer treatment trial ever conducted. It found most women with early breast cancer do not benefit from chemotherapy.

Study details:
10,273 Patients
1,182 Trial Sites
6 participating countries: United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Peru.
9 year outcomes
Sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute
Study Results published in The New England Journal of Medicine

The purpose of the trial was to find out whether women treated with Hormone therapy alone would fare as well over time as those treated with Hormone therapy plus Chemotherapy.The findings: At 9 years, the two treatment groups had similar rates of invasive disease–free survival (83.3% in the hormone-therapy group and 84.3% in the Hormone plus Chemotherapy group),
freedom from disease recurrence at a distant site (94.5% and 95.0%)
or at a distant or local–regional site (92.2% and 92.9%),and
overall survival
 (93.9% and 93.8%).
You can read the study at The New England Journal of Medicine

Breast Cancer
Updated 2024

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