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Editorial
July 20, 2011

Reducing the Long-term Effects of Chemotherapy in Young Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine and Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (Dr Rugo); and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility (Dr Rosen), University of California, San Francisco.

JAMA. 2011;306(3):312-314. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1019

Although the median age of women diagnosed with breast cancer is 61 years, about 35% of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer are 54 years or younger, and 12%—almost 25 000—are younger than 45 years.1 The majority of women with breast cancer will receive adjuvant therapy including chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or both, which has been documented to improve disease-free and overall survival. Treatment has a number of adverse effects that directly affect short-term and, in some cases, long-term quality of life. For young women of childbearing age, one of the most devastating adverse effects involves the prospect of loss of fertility, and this concern may influence choice of therapy and adherence to a prescribed treatment plan.2 For some women, concern about early menopause is paramount.

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