After hearing about Oncotype DX from a friend, Susan asked her doctor about it.
In 2004, at the age of 59, Susan, a high-school art teacher who had been married for 39 years, with three children and six grandsons, had a routine mammogram revealing an irregularity that turned out to be infiltrating ductal carcinoma.
Following a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and a sentinel lymph node biopsy, Susan underwent a series of tests, including a PET/CT scan to determine if the cancer had spread. She was reassured when all of these tests were negative, but Susan wanted to have more confidence that her cancer was not likely to recur. After hearing about Oncotype DX from a friend, Susan asked her doctor about it.
Her physician agreed she would be an appropriate candidate, since her tumor was classified as lymph node-negative estrogen-receptor-positive, and this information could help them evaluate her subsequent treatment options.
“Even though I didn’t want to do the chemo, I knew it would lessen the chances of cancer recurring.”
To Susan's and her physician’s surprise, her Oncotype DX Recurrence Score result was 31, indicating that she was at high risk of her breast cancer returning and would be expected to benefit significantly from chemotherapy.
"I looked at the doctor like he had the wrong person,” recalled Susan. “I was just cruising along with all of these negative tests and thought I’d be done with it all by the end of the summer."
Based on her high Oncotype DX results and other factors, Susan’s physician recommended chemotherapy, which she began immediately.
“Even though I didn’t want to do the chemo, I knew it would lessen the chances of cancer recurring. And based on all of the other tests I had after the lumpectomy, my doctor said he wouldn’t have recommended otherwise,” explained Susan.
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