Sunday, October 29, 2006

Taking time to make a decision...

After surgery, most women are faced with choices about chemotherapy and radiation. Sometimes chemo is helpful and sometimes it is not. Taking the time to do the research can be of great help. Some women like to get a second opinion. Some women want to have the tumor tissue that was removed tested to see which chemo is going to help with their particular type of cancer. For information on chemo sensitivity testing, there is more information at Dr. Larry Weisenthal s website.

A new study shows that you can take some time to make your decision - up to 12 weeks - and the chemo regime will still be helpful. If you are having some difficulty making a desicion about what is best for you, we highly recommend Dr Ralph Moss' Cancer Report. Not only do you get great information about your type of cancer, you get some to an oncologist to ask questions about what your doctor is telling you.

Here are the finding from the study.

"Our findings can reassure women with early-stage breast cancer that it is okay to take some time before they start chemotherapy -- to gather information and be actively involved in treatment decision-making," lead author Dr. Caroline Lohrisch, from the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada, said in a statement.

The study, which is reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, involved an analysis of data for 2,594 women who underwent chemotherapy for early breast cancer at between 1989 and 1998. The women were divided into four groups based on the time between surgery and the start of chemotherapy: within 4 weeks, 4 to 8 weeks, 8 to 12 weeks, or 12 to 24 weeks.

No significant differences in survival were seen among the three groups that began chemotherapy within 12 weeks of surgery. By contrast, starting chemotherapy at greater than 12 weeks was associated with inferior survival.