Chemotherapy: There are cases where it can be avoided

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Did you know that in front of a early diagnosis of hormone-responsive breast cancer, Could chemotherapy be avoided? There are indeed many cases where after surgery it would be sufficient hormone therapy. But in the absence of certainties, chemo is also often prescribed. These doubtful cases could be clarified with a test genomico, able to establish the risk of recurrence and the likelihood that the tumor will respond to treatment. But what and how many are the cases in which chemo and its side effects, physical and psychological, could be spared?

The answer is recent breast cancer studies such as TAILORx, from 2018, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“The study, which involved more than 10,200 women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer, without expression of HER2 and without involvement of the lymph nodes, showed that most patients with early stage breast cancer can avoid chemotherapy – explains the Prof. Francesco Cognetti, President Together Foundation against Cancer and Director of Medical Oncology Regina Elena of Rome -. In particular, a 21-gene genomic test is able to identify the proportion of women (20%) who can benefit from chemotherapy and who would not have been selected with traditional systems. And the majority percentage (80%) which, on the whole, he does not benefit from chemotherapy. We can therefore estimate approx four chemotherapy treatments avoided for every five genomic tests performed».

These are mind-boggling numbers that make you think about the toxicity of chemotherapy. A treatment that on the one hand saves your life, but on the other hand has a very heavy impact on the psychophysical state of the woman. Impact that also weighs in terms of health expenditure. And starting from this scientific and practical evidence, Europe Woman Italy, together with other acronyms involved in the field, has campaign launched Chemo: if I can I avoid it to extend free access to genomic testing to all regions. “At the moment, in fact, this right is guaranteed only to women residing in Lombardy, Tuscany and the autonomous province of Bolzano, who have decided to directly finance the tests with their own funds. – explains the president of Europa Donna Italia Rosanna D’Antona – Yet, with the Budget Law of last December 30, a ad hoc fund of 20 million euros per year thanks to our struggles. But still not enough. The implementing decree signed by the Ministry of Health is missing. Abroad these tests are already adopted, why not in Italy? ».

To this end, Europa Donna Italia is making its voice heard with one petition (you can also sign it at this link). And to amplify the appeal, the social challenge active on the association’s Facebook and Instagram channels, with the hashtag #TestGenomiciOra (here the link to the tutorial to participate in the challenge). Four pink circular symbols (in the picture). The more: I have to have chemo. The less: I could do without it. The Question mark: I can find out with a free test. And the Exclamation point: there is no time to waste, institutions hurry up!

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