A local doctor is part of a new breakthrough in breast cancer treatment. The result is, Dr. Russell Gollard won't have to use chemotherapy on his patients as much anymore.
The topic has been researched for nearly 30 years, but Dr. Gollard will finally start putting the research to use in his office.
"What we found was that in people who were in the low risk and intermediate risk group, there's no benefit from chemotherapy," said Dr. Gollard, Medical Director for OptumCare Cancer Center. "It actually is toxic therapy no matter which way you cut it, there are a number of side effects associated with it that people do not like."
Megan Friday experienced those symptoms a few years ago when she was battling breast cancer.
"It's kind of everything you would think of," she said. "You get sick, you don't feel good, you have to take a lot of medication and drugs basically to deal with all the side effects of the chemotherapy you're being given."
The research shows that nearly 70% of stage one breast cancer patients would be able to take a different route for treatment. They would receive hormonal therapy that blocks the effects of estrogen on breast cancer cells.
"I think it's incredibly exciting because what it means is that we are achieving a goal that we looked to achieve for many years and that is tailored therapy," said Dr. Gollard. "That gives us a great deal of power, and more importantly it gives patients a great deal of power to choose their destiny."
Friday is thrilled for future patients who may be able to opt out of chemotherapy.
"I think that's incredible," she said. "I think that's amazing. If more women are able to not have to go through that, I think that's great."