Video: Breast cancer treatment - is chemotherapy always necessary?
Chemotherapy has reduced breast cancer mortality rates, but lowers patients’ quality of life.
Now, a brand new gene-testing trial from the US, known as the TAILORx trial, looked at women with early breast cancer which is hormone positive and HER 2 negative and hasn't spread to lymph nodes, to see when the gene test shows the woman has a middling risk of recurrence whether chemotherapy in addition to hormone treatment will help to prevent the cancer coming back and spreading.
They found that in these women, chemotherapy added nothing to hormone blocking medication unless the woman was 50 or under.
And, what most of the media didn't tell you, was that this gene test isn't covered by Medicare and costs $4000.