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Oophorectomy, Chemo Ups Breast Cancer Survival Odds

Impact greatest after surgery in premenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In premenopausal women with operable breast cancer, adjuvant oophorectomy and tamoxifen improves the odds of survival, according to a report published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Richard R. Love, M.D., of Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues conducted a study of 709 premenopausal women with operable breast cancer, who were randomized either to receive adjuvant oophorectomy and tamoxifen for five years, or observation and combined therapy in the case of recurrence. The women were followed-up for a median seven years.

For the adjuvant therapy group, disease-free and overall five-year survival rates were 74 percent and 78 percent, respectively, versus 61 percent and 71 percent for the observation group. Ten-year survival rates were also better in the treatment group: 62 percent versus 51 percent for disease-free survival and 70 percent versus 52 percent for overall survival. Among women with estrogen receptor-positive disease, the differences between survival rates in the two groups were more dramatic.

"The survival of adjuvant-treated patients in this trial, particularly the subset of those with estrogen receptor-positive tumors, supports use of this treatment in many circumstances," the authors write.

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