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Cancer – Adjuvant Therapy

February 1, 2021


“The third component is what’s called an adjuvant therapy. So unlike neoadjuvant, which is before the definitive treatment, adjuvant therapy is something where studies have shown that in this particular setting, once the definitive measure is taken out, so say in breast cancer, if you had characteristics where technically yes, hopefully all of the cancer is out with the definitive surgery, there’s adjuvant measurements that statistically show that will reduce the chance of recurrence. That’s what adjuvant is, is that we can’t tell the people that had all the cancer taken out, or the people that may have one or two cells left because we know five, six years down the line, three years, we see a recurrence. Can’t tell which one’s which, because it takes hundreds of thousands of cells together to see them on modern CT imaging. So everything looks clear, right? Naked eye looks clear. So, but you see them out, you see these patients out and you know, they recur.

So we do studies to see when can we give treatments to reduce the chance of recurrence. And so again, in breast cancer, we do have what’s called adjuvant radiation. So after you take out the lump with the cancer and all your margins are negative, and you think you got it, all studies show, some of these still have a recurrence. And that when you do the radiation, you’re decreasing the chance of that recurrence coming back, or you can do adjuvant chemotherapy. So somebody might say, well, you had stage two or stage three breast cancer. You’ve got it taken out. Why are you getting chemo now? You’re getting it adjuvantly, because you know, we’ve just on studies seen that some of these people have a higher chance of recurrence, and this is something that’s indicated and shows a chance of reducing the chance of recurrence.”

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