A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that a tool commonly used by doctors to estimate the risk of a woman’s breast cancer (breast cancer types) returning after surgery is not very effective at explaining risk to patients.
As a result, women with breast cancer may not find these tools helpful when deciding whether to have chemotherapy.
The tool itself is very useful to doctors, many of whom print out information from this tool and give it to patients when they are discussing chemotherapy.
Nearly all women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will have surgery, but many will also consider chemotherapy to help prevent the cancer from coming back.
“The main benefit of additional treatments such as chemotherapy after surgery is long-term risk reduction. But chemotherapy does not provide much benefit for some women, and those women can potentially avoid unnecessary side effects by skipping chemotherapy.
So understanding how large or small the risk reduction is can help women make the right choice,” says lead study author Brian Zikmund-Fisher, Ph.D., research assistant professor of general medicine at the U-M Medical School and a researcher at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
Read more at EurekAlert