After your surgery and your cancer is removed, it will be sent off to be tested. One of the tests that may be done is an Oncotype DX test (performed by Genomic Health).
Oncotype DX is a test that examines tumor tissue at a molecular level, and gives information about a patient’s individual cancer. This information can help your oncologist individualize your breast cancer treatment. The Oncotype DX breast cancer test has clinical evidence that validates its ability to predict the likelihood that the patient will benefit from chemotherapy, and the potential for recurrence in early-stage breast cancer. The Oncotype DX test is intended to be used by women with early-stage (stage I or II), node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) invasive breast cancer.
The result of the test is reported as a number between 0 and 100.
A lower score means the cancer has a lower chance of returning, and a higher score means that there is a higher chance of the cancer returning.
The score also provides important information regarding the potential benefit of adding chemotherapy to hormonal therapy. A low score indicates that the patient will receive minimal benefit from chemotherapy, whereas a patient with a high score can have significant benefit from chemotherapy.
Because everyone’s body and tumor are unique, obtaining a Recurrence Score can help make treatment decisions tailored just for you.
My Oncotype score for recurrence was 38 (my oncologist said the highest score she had ever seen was 50 so 38 was pretty high), which equated to a 26% chance of recurrence and a likelihood that I would benefit from chemotherapy. So I did the chemotherapy and had a double mastectomy to mitigate this risk to the extent possible.