The Oncotype Dx Score Was 26. This Suggests To Oncologists That Chemo Should Be Administered.

Question

Asked by marilyn

The Oncotype Dx Score Was 26. This Suggests To Oncologists That Chemo Should Be Administered.

I am wondering just how 'reliable' this test is. I understand that it is a gene test of 21 genes and is a prediction statistically of the recurrence. I am reading that 676 women participated in the study for this test (doesn't sound like enough women to me) .

I am just totally confused. Most women I speak to ...and surprisingly when I begin to speak..they will reveal that they had breast cancer...but some had it 20 or 30 years ago. and had masectomies and of course had no chem etc after...others had it 11 years ago and had lumpectomy...and only radiation...chose not to take any pills

and then recent situation ...such as 4 years ago...had the radiation and is still taking arimidex.

they all claim to have had estrogen positive and node negative...they don't understand why if I had this..and it is one centimeter with clear borders...why? the oncologist would go by the 'oncotype dx score' to give me chemo.

Don't tell me to go for a second opinion...i am about to faint here. I am scared if I take the chemo that my luck I will end up with leukemia (I feel strongly that there is a 99 percent chance that I have this because of taking HRT pills and the cream...so I really don't trust the medical field..when they 'still' are dispensing this very controversial medication..but that is another issue)...and yet, I have to weigh the risks against the benefits...although I have estrogen positive ...she told me that it is only 30 percent or whatever..and that positive receptors can turn negative...she also said even before the results came in that she would treat it with chemo first of 4 treatments every 3 weeks.

i really don't know what my question is to you...maybe just what you feel about the reliability of the oncotype DX scores are in relationship to guiding the doctor on after treatment. thanks

Answer

Hi - The Oncotype DX test is new, but as it makes its way into the marketplace and the data accumulates, accepted as quite reliable - the cancer center where I'm treated uses it regularly, and they're one of the 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S., as designated by the National Institutes of Health. So I'd trust the results - 26 is a "high gray" score, which puts you on the fence (18 to 30 is the middle, "gray" range).

So, given your score, your oncologist can tell you with a fair amount of certainty how great your risk of recurrence without chemo is. Then, it's up to you to weigh the plusses and minuses - is the lessened risk of recurrence worth the chemo side effects? Side effects that may be serious, and long-lasting? Definitely a tough decision.

My advice: make your decision, and don't look back. NEVER second guess yourself, no matter what. Much of cancer is like this - you'll be asked to make tough decisions all the time. So best to frame some personal parameters around decision-making, OK?

Best of luck to you - PJH

Answered by PJ Hamel