“Breast cancer patients over the age of 60 with early-stage, hormone-responsive small tumors who forego adjuvant endocrine, also called hormonal therapy, are not at an increased risk of mortality compared to women of the same age without breast cancer, according to a study published Aug. 31 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”
The study from Denmark “identified a group of low-risk patients aged 60 or older with mortality rates comparable to the general population. These patients had tumors of 10 millimeters [1 centimeter] or less and low-grade disease (grade 1 ductal carcinoma, or grade 1 or 2 invasive lobular carcinoma.) The researchers concluded that these patients might not benefit from adjuvant therapy.”
This is excellent news because virtually all women with estrogen sensitive breast cancer have been recommended estrogen reducing drugs such as Arimidex, Aromosin, Femara, or Tamoxifen, all which may cause life-changing side effects.
Unfortunately, many women will not fall into this category because of the very low grade of the tumors required for the recommendation to forego treatment. Happily, research such as this will allow some women to more easily make the choice to not undergo endocrine therapy.
I am pleased to see research being done to see if less treatment, rather than more, might sometimes be beneficial. In order to do this cohort research they were fortunate to find 3197 women who had been untreated.
Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer and are trying to evaluate all of your options? Please scrolldown the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“However, they also identified a group of low-risk patients aged 60 or older with mortality rates comparable to the general population. These patients had tumors or 10 millimeters or less and low-grade disease (grade 1 ductal carcinoma, or grade 1 or 2 invasive lobular carcinoma.) The researchers concluded that these patients might not benefit from adjuvant therapy…”
“Background-Indications for adjuvant endocrine treatment of breast cancer have gradually increased over the past several years. We aimed to define subgroups of patients who may or may not benefit from adjuvant endocrine therapy…
Results: The median follow-up after surgery was 14.8 years. In the study population there were 970 deaths compared with expected death of 737 women, which was an excess mortality of 233 deaths…
Mortality rates were 2356 per 100,000 person-years in the study population and 1790 per 100,000 person-years in the general population of women. The mortality rate was associated with larger tumor size (11-20 mm tumors vs 1-10 mm tumors, SMR = 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.31 to 1.53 vs. SMR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.26). The mortality rate was also associated with age (35-59 years, SMR > 1) compared with that in the general population of age-matched women, except for a small subgroup of patients (aged 60-74 years, tumors ≤10 mm, grade 1 ductal carcinoma, and grade 1 or 2 lobular carcinoma: adjusted relative risk = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.89 to 1.16.)…
Conclusions-A small subgroup of breast cancer patients who were 60 years or older and had hormone-responsive early-stage tumors up to 10 mm, and received no systemic adjuvant therapy, were not at increased risk of mortality compared with women in this age-group in the general population.”