One in eight women living in the U.S. will have breast cancer. This is a disease that is often treated with chemotherapy before or after surgery. This form of treatment is probably as harsh and as tough on the body as the cancer itself. There are other types of treatments for breast cancer and these include radiation and hormonal therapy. While the common practice before now was to make the patient go through chemotherapy or radiation, it has become increasingly clear that there are women who do not need anything beyond surgery.
As common as chemotherapy is as a cancer treatment, there are other methods used in taming cancerous tumors, including surgical procedures and radiation. Newer methods include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant among others. Because of the ravaging nature of chemotherapy, more patients are seeking alternative methods of cancer treatment that are gentler on the body. In recent times, there are those who have explored such alternative methods with relative success.
The Problem with Chemotherapy
Cancer is a disease that kills, and it was not created by nature. Chemotherapy is a chemical method of fighting what is unnatural. The resultant effect on the body is appalling, and according to research, it actually increases cancer risk in a person. While this form of treatment does reduce the size of a tumor, there is no evidence to support the fact that it does indeed cure cancer. The evidence points to the contrary. As a result, more patients are opting out of chemotherapy treatment with success.
Surviving Breast Cancer with Hormone Therapy
One of the methods used in fighting cancer and particularly breast cancer is hormone therapy. It is important to note that the National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends hormone therapy while undergoing chemotherapy. However, some cancer patients have elected to use hormone replacement therapy as a stand-alone treatment. Recent research has shown that there are women who can survive without chemotherapy and that there is a way to determine those who are genetically disposed to such treatment.
A delayed medical diagnosis can change the entire outcome of your battle with cancer. It is crucial that cancer be diagnosed early on. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that there was a more successful outcome for those diagnosed with early-stage cancer. Although the study is still on-going, one very pertinent fact is that five years after the hormone therapy treatment, 99 percent of those who had gone through that treatment had not relapsed, and 98 percent were still alive. Amazingly, about 94 percent did not show any sign of cancer at all either in the affected breast or the opposite one. For these patients, chemotherapy would probably have had a debilitating effect with very little success.
There is no doubt that chemotherapy does shrink the tumor and helps in the treatment of cancer, however the long-term effect is the reason many patients are opting out and trying alternative methods. The Mammarprint test, which was developed by the Netherlands Cancer Institute van Leeuwenhoek, has provided a way to detect through the genes, which women are not a good fit for chemotherapy, thereby making it possible for them to seek other alternatives to cancer treatment.