I know that this theme has been quite for a while, but I would like to add my thoughts and comments . I have been diagnosed with early breast cancer and was offered the option to take part in the trial. I was given a lot of information to read before making my decision. As well as reviewing the provided documentation I also undertook my own research. OPTIMA trials have taken place outside the UK and the long term outcomes between having and not having chemo if a low score is received is identical with a difference of 0.1%. Additionally I also work for a Russell Group University (research intensive) and I have been involved in preparing bids for research funding. The amount of work that goes into a bid is immense. Once a bid and funding is agreed, the money is released in traunches. What this means is that regular reports, which will be extensive, have to be submitted to the funding body. If at any stage the funders have concerns about the ongoing research and outcomes the funding will be withdrawn. Also the OPTIMA trial is at stage 3. Stage 1 and 2 have been successful. If the researchers and funders at this time thought the risk was too high the programme would be withdrawn. Armed with this knowledge, I opted to take part in the trial. Today I received the amazing news that I did not need chemo. All I need is radiotherapy and hormone treatment. I am100% confident in the outcome. If you are offered the opportunity to participate please do so. Only 50% of tumours will be tested, so the probability at the moment is that you will require chemo. However, long term the research should become standard to understand if chemo is required. Chemo is an aggressive treatment with side effects and also costly. So if you are offered the option to take part please consider this carefully. Why undergo chemo if you don’t need it? Good luck to everyone who is being treated and may you all recover well.
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