Chemo Unlikely to Prolong Life in Older Cancer Patients &mdash What Should You Do?

by Marcel Hernandez, ND

A common question our breast cancer patients ask us is whether they should undergo chemotherapy.

Bmarcel-hernandez-2014-02y law, we aren’t allowed to answer “yea” or “nay.” This is a decision you must make in consultation with your oncologist.

We can, however, offer our observations from our many years of working with cancer patients; and we can offer up-to-date data from scientific studies to help you come to the right decision for you.

Our feeling is that your decision to undergo chemo (or not) is primarily a lifestyle choice. What level of treatment are you willing to undergo in order to potentially add time to your life?

Here are some scientific findings that may help you decide.

The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston published a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that analyzed data from 14,440 women diagnosed with Stage I to IIIA hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.

The analysis of the data showed that chemotherapy reduced the risk of death by 30% in patients age 65-69, by 26% in those aged 70-74, and by 24% in those aged 75-79.

The data analysis did not report survival times for those who chose to undertake chemotherapy.

The study’s lead author, Xianglin Du, a professor of epidemiology, said:

“Chemotherapy’s reduced effect on the risk of mortality in older breast cancer patients could be due to several factors: tumors being less sensitive to chemotherapy, a decrease in dosage as the body gets weaker with age, or chemotherapy killing healthy cells in addition to cancer cells.”

On the other hand, a year-long trial reported in Medical News Today suggests that doubling the amount of moderate to vigorous exercise from 150 to 300 minutes per week may lower the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer due to the beneficial effects of exercise on reducing body fat.

Your health – your choice. We’re here to support you with reliable information, and with alternative therapies that have proven helpful in maintaining an optimal lifestyle during conventional medical treatment for cancer.

Please phone us at 650-917-1121 for more information about adjunctive cancer therapies 

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