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Cancer Cell Genetic Testing
Daf
12 Posts
So today I had my post surgery meeting with the oncologist. They put me on a hormone pill but said there is a new procedure that tests the cancer cell genetics. If it give a low score than studies show that clients on the hormone pill with chemo compared to clients on just the hormone pill have the same outcome. So the score of this test determines if you need chemo. But the test is $5000. There are programs to determine if you get financial assistance. But I don't want to pay $5000 and risk the chance of it saying yes you'll still need chemo. No refund. And why doesn't the government recognize that $5K is way less than 6 to 8 months of chemo treatment. I am very uncertain of how to proceed but I guess I just wait to see if I qualify for financial support. But that just seems to be delaying the process. Has anyone else heard of this?
6 Replies
B_yvg
9 Posts

Hi @Daf the test sounds like the OncoType test. It is covered in my province so we don’t have to pay. I too am waiting for the results to come back.

My radiation oncologist said today he’d be surprised if I had a high score and is proceeding with radiation plan (we can always adjust if Onco test next week says otherwise).

its good they are looking into financial assistance for you Take care.

Mosi
117 Posts
Daf‍ I was offered Next generation sequencing which allowed my tumour to be run through a number of panels to determine what was driving it. My oncologist explained that when a sniper wants to stop a vehicle you need to hit the driver. I arranged for the testing, went with the most expensive option because they ran more panels. I had already been through chemo, surgery and was preparing for radiation but the cancer was still growing. When I called the company to arrange for the testing they gave me a 50% discount because insurance wouldn’t cover any of it. This test was how I discovered I was triple negative. The jury is still out in terms of whether it will be helpful as my cancer has mutated 7 times and two of those mutations have treatments available. If one of those two is the driver we are doing well. The report has been helpful in guiding where we go next. In the end it all depends on which of the 7 mutations are in the driver’s seat. The information gathered may be really helpful or not at all.
I know this probably was already covered by your oncologist and it may not help you make a decision. I’m sorry you’re having to grapple with this. Please let me know if there’s more specific questions you have.
moth
16 Posts

This sounds like the Oncotype.
Different provinces have different coverage for this test. Sounds like you don't meet the criteria for your province??

It's a tough decision. I'm in BC and when I was diagnosed with Stage 1A in 2017 they paid for the Oncotype - it turned out to be of great importance to my case as the Oncotype showed a different hormonal profile than we had from the lab here.

You can read about the Oncotype here. I hope you can find some funding for the the test & find out if the test sees a benefit for chemo for you or not.


Beachalog
47 Posts

Hi @Daf it looks like you're in Alberta, and if so, and you have early stage BC that is ER and PR positive and node negative, it should be covered by AHS. I had mine in April, and got results on May 4. It was 11, so no chemo. I would ask why you need to pay out of pocket!

Daf
12 Posts

Are you also in Alberta?

Mosi
117 Posts

@Daf I just met with my oncologist and asked about the differences between the next generation sequencing and oncotype testing. He said they were different and the oncotype would not have been open to me because we start with chemo. Oncotype says yes or no to chemo recommendations whereas the NGS says these particular therapies are recommended. I don’t know if that makes things clearer or muddies the waters.

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