Chemotherapy for breast cancer uses drugs to target and destroy breast cancer cells. These drugs are usually given directly into a vein through a needle or as a pill. Chemotherapy for breast cancer frequently is used in addition to other treatments, such as surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. Receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer may increase the chance of a cure, decrease the risk of the cancer returning, alleviate symptoms from the cancer or help people with cancer live longer with a better quality of life. If the cancer has recurred or spread, chemotherapy may control the breast cancer to help you live longer. Or it can help ease symptoms the cancer is causing.
Incidence of Acute Myeloid Leukemia after Breast Cancer
Why do breast cancer survivors succumb to leukemia after cancer therapy?
How does chemotherapy affect the risk of second cancers?
While advancements in cancer treatment over the last several decades have improved patient survival rates for certain cancers, some patients remain at risk of developing treatment-related leukemia, according to results of a study published online today in Blood , the Journal of the American Society of Hematology ASH. Chemotherapy is often a highly effective treatment for cancer, but certain drugs have also been shown in a range of studies to increase a patient's risk of developing therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia tAML , a rare but frequently fatal condition. Thanks to significant advancements in therapy resulting in improved patient survival rates for certain cancers over the last several decades, researchers and clinicians now aim to design treatment regimens that maximize patient survival while minimizing short- and long-term complications. However, no recent large-scale studies have evaluated how the risk of treatment-related leukemia has evolved with the changing treatment strategies," said Lindsay Morton, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute NCI and lead author of the study.
Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women and the leading cause of death among middle-aged women. Early detection by mammography screening and improvement of therapeutic options have increased breast cancer survival rates, with the consequence that late side effects of cancer treatment become increasingly important. In particular, patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy regimens, commonly including alkylating agents and anthracyclines, are at increased risk of developing leukemia, further enhanced by the use of radiotherapy. In the last few years also the use of growth factors seems to increase the risk of secondary leukemia. The purpose of this review is to update epidemiology of therapy-related myeloid neoplasms occurring in breast cancer patients.