An extensive study led in New York has found that most women with early-stage breast cancer can safely skip chemotherapy without compromising their chances of beating the disease.
They can limit their treatment to surgery and hormone therapy.
Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to reduce the chances of cancer coming back, but the side-effects are extremely heavy.
The study led by the Albert Einstein Cancer Center used genetic testing to analyse the danger of the tumours.
The findings could impact over 70,000 women a year in the United States alone and many more throughout the world, by sparing them the costs and pain of going through chemotherapy.
Speaking to John Maytham, oncologist at the Donald Gordon Medical Centre Dr Devan Moodley said he is optimistic about this study and this type of technology has been used for a long time and have already saved many women from having to undergo chemotherapy.
What we do is we do the tests and when the results come back, we find that over 70% of women in whom we would have otherwise considered chemotherapy have now been spared that arduous process.— Dr Devan Moodley, Oncologist at Donald Gordon Medical Centre
Yes, it is a game changer, it should be applied more often, but we have been using it in Gauteng for a quite a while now.— Dr Devan Moodley, Oncologist at Donald Gordon Medical Centre
The doctor added that even though the technology has been available for a while, it is not accessible to everyone because many of the funders don't pay for it.
It's also not available to patients in the government service because it is about R38 000 for this particular test which has now been validated in an international forum.— Dr Devan Moodley, Oncologist at Donald Gordon Medical Centre