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Some breast cancer patients may be able to skip chemotherapy when battling illness

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A new study hints that some breast cancer patients might be able to skip chemotherapy altogether to battle the disease.

About 1 in every 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes.

Based on gene testing in tumors, researchers found that nearly half of women with early-stage breast cancer can avoid chemo and battle the disease with surgery, hormone treatments and radiation.

Chemo vs. no chemo recurrence

According to the study, after five years, 94.4 percent of patients who didn't use chemo did not have the disease spread significantly.

Chemo patients fared only slightly better, with a 95.9 rate.

The findings, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine,  could affect approximately 100,000 women a year in the United States and Europe. 

Results of the study, in one chart.

How to Recognize Breast Cancer Symptoms

Early detection is key -- here's a video on how to check for breast cancer.

The New York Times contributed to this report. 

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