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Breast Cancer Blog: Chemotherapy Or Hormonal Therapy?

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Dec 11, 2005

Chemotherapy Or Hormonal Therapy?

Chemotherapy Or Hormonal Therapy?
A good friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She had a one-centimeter tumor. Her tumor was estrogen and progesterone receptors positive. No lymph nodes were involved. She subsequently underwent four chemotherapy treatments and was then started on arimidex.

I don't know how much these four treatments of chemotherapy may have helped her. When you are having a tumor size of 1 centimeter, your risk of return of cancer in the next 10 years is only about 15 percent. Hormonal therapy gives very good protection in this setting and may cut down your risk of recurrence of breast cancer to about 10 percent. If you use chemotherapy and hormonal therapy combined, your may expect the risk of recurrence may be reduced to about 8 percent. (These values were calculated using an online breast cancer risk calculator). So my question is what are you gaining with addition of chemotherapy? Just a 2 percent reduction of recurrence of breast cancer? What about the risks and hassles associated with the chemotherapy? What about 1 in 500 chance of developing leukemia after the chemotherapy?

Don't quote me wrong, women with larger tumors, and or lymph node involvement would definitely benefit from chemotherapy. Also women who have hormone negative tumor may not have the luxury of hormonal treatment and may best undergo chemotherapy.

These thoughts were reflected in the recent San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Guidelines recently adopted in Europe and similar ones unveiled this weekend at SABCS will result in far fewer women getting chemotherapy in the future.

The new advice calls for choosing a treatment based on each woman's particular type of tumor. Under these new rules, hormone status becomes the single most important factor in choosing treatment.


Do You Read All Of Our Cancer Blogs?

Do You Read All Of Blogs?
Do you read all of the blogs published by Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. Through this cancer blog my friends and I try to bring stories of hope for patients with cancer. The cancer blog often republishes important blog posts from other cancer related blogs at If you are searching for a blog that covers wide variety of cancer topics, this may be the one for you.

Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Emily and other bloggers and they bring you the latest stories, news and events that are related to breast cancer. Increasing awareness about breast cancer among women and in the general population is the main goal of this breast cancer blog.

Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is managed by Scott with the help of other bloggers. Through this blog Scott and his friends constantly remind the readers about the dangers of smoking. It's a never-ending struggle against this miserable disease with which a social stigma of smoking is associated.

Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.

Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer. publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.


Breast cancer
Every year, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer ranks second as the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. Until recently breast cancer topped the list of leading causes of cancer deaths in women, but lately lung cancer has claimed the top position. If skin cancer is excluded, breast cancer is the commonest cancer among American women.

Breast Cancer Blog: Chemotherapy Or Hormonal Therapy?

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