Oncotype DX Stories

Jan F.

Stands behind her surgeon’s choice to do the Oncotype DX test.

She had never heard of the Oncotype DX until her surgeon mentioned it.

Jan’s personal credo has always been “Be Your Own Advocate.” This motto saw her through the years, to her current position as Senior Managing Director at a wealth management company. It was what fueled her strength and resolve when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Conscientious about her health, Jan has never missed an annual mammogram since her first one 20 years ago. She doesn't have a history of cancer in her family. In 2007, after working out with a personal trainer, she felt something unusual on her breast. She immediately rescheduled her mammogram for an earlier appointment.

The mammogram and an ultrasound did not suggest cancer as an explanation for what she felt. But she was relentless, needing complete peace of mind about her condition. After a needle biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of breast cancer, Jan met with a surgeon who helped her decide to proceed with breast conservation therapy and radiation. Her surgeon also discussed Oncotype DX with Jan. This was the first time that Jan had heard of the test. Jan has always been an evidence-driven person, and the way she lives her life didn’t change when she was faced with cancer.

Jan says, “I wanted cutting edge options. The more we have in order to make an informed decision, the better. You want to get the best treatment that you possibly can to eradicate (the cancer), and Oncotype DX provides us with an indicator of what that best treatment will be.”

“I don’t have sleepless nights over breast cancer because I made the best decision I could have made.”

Given that she was node negative and had a Recurrence Score of 9, Jan's oncologist discussed with her that chemotherapy offered minimal benefit in her case. Jan followed her oncologist’s recommendation to undergo hormonal therapy.

“I have peace of mind that I have a low Recurrence Score. And if it had been a high Recurrence Score, then I might have changed my mind about further treatment,” she says. Jan appreciated the way that Oncotype DX allows each physician to treat each woman’s situation individually, to help make personalized decisions. She emphasizes how personal the treatment decision is and how important it is to have all the information to make that decision on your own.

“A test like Oncotype DX helps us have those facts that we need to make that decision. You have to make that decision based on what works best for you in your life,” she says.

Two years after her diagnosis and cancer-free, Jan stands behind her surgeon’s choice to do the Oncotype DX test. Her low Recurrence Score gave her the confidence to choose a treatment path that would allow her to avoid chemotherapy. She is planning a trip to Bhutan later in the year. She especially enjoys spending time with her two granddaughters.

And she continues to champion her motto, “Be Your Own Advocate.” She says, “I don’t have sleepless nights over breast cancer because I made the best decision I could have made.”

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Name: Jan F.
Age: 63
Year Diagnosed: 2007
Recurrence Score: 9

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