According to the research of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame, “Oncologists are some of the highest paid doctors, their average income is increasing faster than any other specialist in the medical field, and more than half their income comes from selling and administering chemotherapy."
Even so, the study concluded that overall, chemotherapy contributes just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients. Yet despite the mounting evidence of chemotherapy’s lack of effectiveness in prolonging survival, oncologists continue to present chemotherapy as a rational and promising approach to cancer treatment.
In this analysis, adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with improved survival, presumably caused by an a priori poor prognosis of these patients. For an aging society more data are urgently needed to help selecting and personalizing adjuvant treatment within subgroups of breast cancer in older women.