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New Report Could Change the Way Early Breast Cancer Is Treated

An international panel of experts has proposed a different approach to choosing the best way to treat early breast cancer.

The report is published online in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology, and represents the consensus of more than 4,800 participants from 101 countries, attendees at the 11th St. Gallen conference in March 2009.

Science Daily reports, "The authors expect the consensus report to change clinical practice. While it continues to recognize that early breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease and that patients should receive personalized care targeted at their particular type of disease, the report proposes a different way of assessing the disease, its risk and the appropriate treatment."

Early breast cancer is defined as breast cancer that is confined to the breast, with or without lymph node involvement, and which is easily removable by surgery. There are many different types of early breast cancer, some carrying higher risks of recurrence or metastases than others. This new consensus helps further refine the algorithm doctors use when determining which treatment option (endocrine therapy, anti-HER2 therapy, or chemotherapy), or combination there of, is best suited to a particular patient.