Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter
Drugs for Breast Cancer
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In addition to surgery and radiation therapy, a variety of drugs are used both singly and in combination to treat breast cancer. The text below summarizes the principles of adjuvant therapy and treatment for metastatic disease. A summary of individual drugs and their adverse effects begins on page 3.


CHEMOTHERAPY — Adjuvant combination chemotherapy following surgical resection of the primary tumor and affected lymph nodes (if any) has been shown to reduce mortality from breast cancer, especially in younger women. It has been associated with a reduction in 10-year mortality of 27% in women less than 50 years old and 11% in women between ages 50 and 69 (Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group, Lancet 1998; 352:930). No survival benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy has ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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