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Adding Chemo to Tamoxifen Helps Some Breast Cancer Patients
Date:12/10/2009

, vice chair of medical oncology for the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif., of the first study. "This study tells us [that] if you have positive lymph nodes [and are postmenopausal with estrogen receptor-positive cancer], you should have both chemo and tamoxifen, because the survival was better."

But, she added, "when you give everyone [who has the estrogen receptor-positive, node-positive breast cancer] chemotherapy, probably there are some who don't need it."

According to Mortimer, that's why the gene test looks promising -- it may spare some women from having to have chemo while ensuring that those who will benefit from the treatment get it.

More information

To learn more about breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Kathy Albain, M.D., professor, medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; Joanne Mortimer, M.D., vice chair, medical oncology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif.; Dec. 10, 2009, presentation, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Texas; Dec. 10, 2009, The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology, online


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