AN EAS­IER CHOICE

Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

Co-au­thor of a land­mark study pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine, Dr Kathy Al­bain, says, “We can now safely avoid chemo­ther­apy in 70 per cent of pa­tients di­ag­nosed with the most com­mon form of breast can­cer.” The On­co­type DX gene test ex­am­ines how ac­tive 21 spe­cific genes are and cal­cu­lates a ‘re­cur­rence score’ of zero to 100. Scores over 25 in­di­cate us­ing chemo­ther­apy, scores 10 and un­der in­di­cate no chemo and scores be­tween 11 and 25 re­main a grey area. The study in­volved more than 10,000 women with hor­mone-re­cep­tor-pos­i­tive, HER-2neg­a­tive breast can­cer. Half re­ceived hor­mone ther­apy and chemo, and half re­ceived hor­mone ther­apy alone. For women un­der the age of 50, out­comes were sim­i­lar when test scores were 15 or below, though for younger women scor­ing be­tween 16 and 25, chemo­ther­apy slightly im­proved out­comes.

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