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Following a positive breast cancer test, older women with certain forms of the disease may not need to undergo hormone therapy after their tumor has been eradicated, according to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The findings are relevant because hormone therapy, in which estrogen levels are depressed, removing a potential source of future tumor growth, is becoming much more common. The researchers pointed out that nearly every woman diagnosed with the condition is now started on the treatment.
However, after examining the medical records of more than 3,000 women who received positive breast cancer tests, the researchers found that individuals over the age of 60 who did not receive hormone therapy had similar survival rates as age-matched women who never had cancer.
The team did qualify their findings by saying they only apply to women with low-risk types of breast cancer. This is generally characterized by being confined to the local area, being smaller in size and responding to hormonal therapies.
Still, the results could help determine appropriate treatments for women with breast cancer.
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