RICHMOND, Va. -- Doctors at VCU Massey Cancer Center worked on five-year study involving 25 countries and more than 3,000 women looking at the recurrence of breast cancer in premenopausal women.
“We saw long-term data these younger women who kept their cycles seem to have the worst outcome,” said Dr. Charles Geyer with VCU Massey Cancer Center.
Geyer was one of those doctors working on this study known as the SOFT (Suppression of Ovarian Function Trial). The women in the study had breast cancer and remained premenopausal even after chemotherapy.
The study looked at ovarian suppression to see if it could reduce a woman's risk of getting breast cancer again. It is a monthly injection along with taking the drug Tamoxifen, which basically stops the menstrual cycle.
“It’s a way of making a young woman post-menopausal without taking surgery; without taking her ovaries,” Geyer said.
Doctors saw improvements doing ovarian suppression. In fact, high-risk young women under the age of 35 saw the biggest reduction in their risk of recurrence.
Leading doctors to believe a woman's increased chance of getting breast cancer again and being premenopausal could be tied together.
“Could it be the failure of these younger women to enter menopause could contribute to that and this study suggests,” Geyer explained.
Geyer said that a woman who takes part in ovarian suppression for 5 years, can stop the treatment so that she could have children.