Neoadjuvant treatment aims to shrink the tumour

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Neoadjuvant treatment (before surgery) is aimed at shrinking the tumour so that it is possible or easier to remove surgically. This may improve surgery outcomes and help to conserve a patient’s breast.

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Response to neoadjuvant treatment may also allow a doctor to quickly assess whether a medicine is working so treatment can be continued or adjusted accordingly.

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In some patients, neoadjuvant therapy may shrink the tumour so much that no remaining cancer can be found in the tissue removed during surgery. When this happens, a patient achieves pathological complete response (pCR). This may provide additional insights into the prognosis of the disease.