I am 45 pre menopausal and have a question about oncotype testing and your experience. I have read that it is very reliable when one is postmenopausal but not for premenopausal. I even asked the BC Cancer librarian to do a quick search for me so I could guess the many options for treatment and understand the test better when I finally see my oncologist Dec 1 (had my lumpectomy and SNB a month ago with ⅔ positive nodes and stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma) My understanding from the surgeon and radiologist is that guidelines in BC would indicate chemo and then radiation followed up by hormone therapy are likley my future path…. but I am a candidate for a possible study so they sent my oncotype testing off as part of the screening for qualification and which they stated may inform my possible chemo? (which I felt participating in this portion anyhow is a no brainer as it could inform my treatment better either way). If anyone could share their experience or knowledge of oncotype testing please. I would also be keen to know when it is indicated that they do other scans. I find it hard not having any professionals to ask while in limbo. Thanks all!
I was lucky enough to get the ONCO DX diagnostic test in Apr 2020; I was post menopausal, (age 58), tumour was ER/PR + & HER2 -.
they do have a website that has TONS of information…there are patient and caregiver portals….maybe you could find the answers you are looking for there?
I do recall it took quite some time for the test results to become available. with medical professionals in such short supply right now….I 100% understand your frustration with obtaining information.
have you given the Information Specialists at Canadian Cancer a call yet? they have access to all the latest: 1-800-939-3333.
good luck with your information gathering.
@CMK I was 52 last year when I had my mastectomy and still had a regular menstrual cycle and no signs of menopause. As soon as I had my surgery my period got weird, was coming every second week. I think my hormones were out of wack from losing my breasts. My oncologist suggested the oncotype testing but after he spoke with them they told him I was not a good candidate because my periods now suggested I was perimenopausal 🤷♀️. So chemo it was for me! Apparently the testing was not reliable. I planne for chemo all along in my head but I did have my hopes slightly up when my doc mentioned the oncotesting to me. All the best!
@CMK Also your question about other scans, my oncologist didn't really say much about this until I questioned how we can be sure of the staging. Because I had one lymph node that was cancerous I felt a scan was needed as it potentially could have spread. He agreed and I had a scan but I had to bring up the topic. To be honest, I had the scan but was terrified to look at the results on my ehealth and asked my doctor to look and tell me if there was anything I needed to know.
I just thought I would add some info on Oncotype Dx from cancer.ca in case it is helpful to you:
Chemotherapy is always offered to women who have breast cancer with a high risk of recurrence because it significantly reduces risk. Women with a low risk of breast cancer recurrence are not usually offered chemotherapy because it does not significantly reduce risk.
If you have breast cancer with a moderate risk of recurrence, you may be offered chemotherapy after the healthcare team has discussed the risks and side effects of chemotherapy with you.
Your healthcare team may offer to do the Oncotype DX test to get a better idea of how likely the cancer is to recur. This test looks at 21 different genes in breast cancer cells. If some genes are turned on, or expressed, it may mean that the cancer is a more aggressive cancer and more likely to come back after treatment.
Your healthcare team may also offer to do the Oncotype DX if you have invasive breast cancer that has receptors for estrogen, progesterone or both (it is ER+, PR+ or both) and HER2 negative to see if adding chemotherapy to hormonal therapy may lower your risk of recurrence.
The results of the Oncotype DX test are given as a number between 0 and 100. The lower the number, the lower the risk that the cancer will come back or spread.
Chemotherapy is not offered to women with a low score because they are not likely to benefit from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is offered along with hormonal therapy to women with a high score because there is a greater risk that the cancer will come back or spread.
Talk to your healthcare team about adjuvant therapy and if the Oncotype DX test would be helpful for you. This test is available in Canada, but it is not funded by the provincial or territorial healthcare plans in all cases.
It will be interesting to hear what you find out if you are up to sharing .
When I was undergoing chemo in 2020 there was a male nurse who spoke about the oncotype testing and a young person who had a very very low score so she did not undergo chemo. Unfortunately the cancer came back. He said personally that if it was his wife, his sister or his daughter he would recommend chemo irregardless of the score. It’s actually not as bad to go through as it was years ago and if it improves your chances it is worth it.