An Oncotype DX Recurrence Score of 28 convinced to Sandy to proceed with a two-month course of chemotherapy.
For Sandy, a 38-year-old preschool teacher and young mother, the thought of breast cancer never crossed her mind; she did not do regular breast self-examinations. However, during Memorial Day weekend in 2006, she made an unexpected and alarming discovery—a lump the size of a small marble in her left breast.
Confirmed by mammography and ultrasound, the lump was revealed to be malignant by a needle biopsy procedure. Less than one month after her initial discovery, Sandy underwent a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and also removal of 11 lymph nodes, all of which turned out to be negative for cancer.
“The additional information provided by Oncotype DX made a difficult decision much easier.”
Sandy then faced the challenging decision of whether or not to have chemotherapy. She knew patients with tumors the size of hers—slightly over one centimeter—were on the borderline in terms of being recommended for chemotherapy treatment. Guided by her physician, she turned to the Oncotype DX assay for greater insight about her tumor so that she could make an informed decision about beginning a therapy associated with potentially debilitating side effects.
When her Oncotype DX Recurrence Score came in at 28, at the high end of the intermediate-risk range, Sandy immediately decided to proceed with a two-month course of chemotherapy. Although she experienced bouts of fatigue, she found the side effects to be surprisingly manageable. In fact, with help and support from her husband and two young sons, she continued her job teaching a lively group of four-year-olds. A competitive swimmer in high school, she also kept up an active exercise program, swimming three times a week.
“The additional information provided by Oncotype DX made a difficult decision much easier." said Sandy. "It was as if I was standing at a huge fork in the road and Oncotype DX helped me decide which path to follow. Once I began treatment, there was no second-guessing. I felt as if I had made the best possible decision for me, and I was able to concentrate all my energies on getting better.”
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