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Monday, December 18, 2006

Individualized treatments make it possible for women to survive breast cancer

CBS News: Three women were once diagnosed with breast cancer. Each one is surviving thanks to new treatments that are as individual as they are, CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports.

"We have changed almost everything that we do," says Dr. Clifford Hudis, the doctor for all three women and one of the nation's leading experts on breast cancer. "We've learned that breast cancer is really a collection of diseases as opposed to being just one disease. And from that flows a series of treatments that are to some degrees tailored for each patient."
Linnie Pickering was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago. Her treatment was a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. "I think I feel better now than before," says Pickering. "I'm really eating healthier. I'm exercising more."
Pickering's form of breast cancer used her own body's estrogen as fuel to grow. "I'm always so amazed that this little teeny pill is helping me every day fight the cancer and stay healthy," she says.

That tiny pill is called Femara. It's a form of hormone therapy that shuts off her body's estrogen production, keeping the cancer at bay and the 58-year-old on the move.

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