Katherine became the first woman to use the Oncotype DX assay and learned she had a Recurrence Score result of 18.
In 2003, Katherine, a 53-year-old podiatrist and one of the first female Goju-Kai style karate black belts in the United States, found a lump in her breast during a self-examination. After multiple rounds of tests and a double mastectomy to remove her invasive breast cancer, Katherine had to choose whether to get chemotherapy to reduce the likelihood of her cancer recurring.
As Katherine contemplated her decision, her husband learned about Oncotype DX, a new test that was coming onto the market. Katherine’s physician had heard about the test but didn’t think that it would be available for a couple of years. They made a deal that if she did the legwork in researching when the test would become available, and he determined that it was appropriate for her management, he would order it for her. In the meantime, standard assessments of Katherine’s tumor indicated that chemotherapy would be necessary. She called Genomic Health regularly to see if the test was available.
In January 2004, Katherine became the first woman to use the Oncotype DX assay and learned she had a Recurrence Score result of 18.
Following treatment with an aromatase inhibitor, Katherine has become a certified ski instructor along with her husband. They enjoy spending time together with their dog, Connor, who is also a cancer survivor.
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