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Consensus on "Combination Therapy" for Breast Cancer ,,

Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among women in the world. There has been some on going controversy on certain aspects of treatment modalities of this cancer. Besides surgery there are other options to treat the cancer including radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Now at a three-day conference at the National Institutes of Health doctors have agreed to a consensus on the combination therapy for the cancer. Dctors have agreed that the combination therapy for women with breast cancer is beneficial. Depending on a woman's stage of the disease the experts recommend surgery along with either chemotherapy or hormonal therapy.

To help in the decision-making, experts came up with their own recommendations as follows:

1. Women whose breast tumors contain estrogen receptors, regardless of other factors, are recommended to use hormonal therapy. The panel suggests five years of drug-Tamoxifen as the standard hormonal adjuvant therapy. Hormonal therapy is not suggested for women whose tumors do not have hormone receptors.

2. Women who have had a mastectomy and have four or more cancerous lymph nodes can best benefit from post-surgical radiation. At this point the panel says there is not enough evidence that women with three or fewer cancerous lymph nodes benefit from radiation.

Patricia Eifel of Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said to one of the medical news agencies that, "Women with breast cancer have more treatment options and a better chance of surviving their disease than ever before. At the same time, making treatment decisions has become a more complex process for them and their physicians due to a growing list of effective options."

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