Currently, the role of adjuvant systemic therapy in women with node-negative breast cancer is being determined. Several studies of adjuvant hormonal therapy and adjuvant chemotherapy have demonstrated a moderate reduction in the risk of recurrence in the treated patients. With relatively limited follow-up, however, overall survival has not improved with use of adjuvant therapy. The use of prognostic factors to select those patients at highest risk for relapse is an active area of oncologic research. The decision to recommend adjuvant therapy necessitates assessment of the probability of recurrence, the expected reduction of risk with adjuvant therapy, the toxic effects of therapy, and the influence of treatment on the patient's overall quality of life.
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