21 Sep Breast Cancer And Its Correct Treatment
Diagnosing breast cancer at an early stage is one of the most important factors that significantly contribute to reducing the percentage of patients undergoing chemotherapy. At the same time, genetic molecular tests and the specialized knowledge of the oncologist play a particularly important role.
Women with stage 1 or 2 breast cancer, i.e. in the initial stage, with a diameter < 2cm, without metastasis to the axillary lymph nodes, with positive estrogen and progesterone receptors and negative HER2 receptors can largely avoid chemotherapy. These are the luminal types of breast cancer in a percentage of 60-70%. In the past, the majority of patients with this type of cancer underwent chemotherapy, as opposed to today, where only 1/3 of the cases require chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is considered necessary in cases of women with negative receptors for estrogen ER and progesterone Prg, for women with positive receptors for HER2 as well as for women with all three receptors negative (triple negative cancer). What are the reasons why a patient can avoid chemotherapy today?
The two important reasons are:
- Early diagnosis
- The genetic molecular prognostic tests with which we can calculate the aggressiveness of the cancer and its degree of sensitivity to chemotherapy.
What is the reaction of women when it is decided not to undergo chemotherapy?
As mentioned above in specific cases the woman can avoid chemotherapy. Faced with such a decision, there are two types of reactions:
- Women who avoid chemotherapy feeling satisfied.
- Women expressing concern. Usually these are young women or new mothers. Many such cases of women want to undergo chemotherapy without fulfilling the conditions.
For this reason, the correct orientation of patients is necessary, with particular reference to the side effects that chemotherapy can cause when it is not necessary for the patient’s survival. It is also important that the attending physician dedicates the necessary time to the patient so that she fully understands the treatment to be followed.