Women’s Health Week: New Cancer Drug Could Cut Need for Chemo

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From WFSA.com

It's being described as the breakthrough doctors have waited 20 years for.

A hormone treatment for breast cancer that is just as effective, if not better, for women than chemotherapy.

Based on a cocktail of drugs, chemotherapy often leads to hair loss and even infertility.

Hormone treatment for pre-menopausal women could avoid both.

Clare Footitt says that when she was diagnosed in 2000, she was just 28 years old.

At the time Clare was one the youngest Women in the United Kingdom to have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She had a lumpectomy, and her lymph nodes were removed before undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

She says one of the major issues she was concerned about was whether or not the treatments would make her infertile.

Seven years later, clear of the cancer, Clare is just 35 years old, and because of the treatment, doesn't know if she will ever be able to have children.

She's not alone, although breast cancer is far more common in post-menopausal women, more than 8,000 women this year will develop breast cancer before they reach menopause.

Today, a hormone therapy drug traditionally used to treat prostate cancer has proven very effective against breast cancer.

Tango’s Take
This may end up being great news for young women fighting breast cancer. The drug, Luteinising-Hormone-Releasing-Hormone (LHRH), works by inhibiting signals that instruct the ovaries to produce estrogen. Estrogen is known, in 2/3 of cases, to aggravate (this is, aid in metastasizing) breast cancer. Traditional chemotherapy shuts down the ovaries, which can lead to hair loss and lack of fertility. The breakthrough comes from using a technique for beating prostate cancer. Men can’t take the pill, but they can share their cancer treatments—we’re finally getting somewhere.

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