I am only 6 weeks into my actual journey but those 6 weeks have been spent steeped in meetings...and material to read and groups and my own researching....and if there is one message I see...that should NOT stand in the way of all your efforts....it is the liklihood of recurrence. That is really the supreme goal of our oncologists. our surgeons...all the players on your team. RECURRENCE. It took me a long couple of weeks...skipping over the regular mention of this word. Here i was pleading for a lumpectomy...pleading...could they try....I can't handle mastectomy. Then the dust settled...and I thought about my specialists....and why I didn't like what they were saying. And there was that word again. RECURRENCE. I know I have posted about this before, based on myself.
Our treatment strategy seems miserable in the moment as we go....we just want it to be over...with the least destruction possible. But I now think it is rarely rarely ever over. And recurrence is HUGE. Maybe because of some of the original decisions that get made. So advocate...push for tests you need...DO treatments you need..throw the kitchen sink at it. If I could design the path of least resistance in my extreme anxious state...I would.
But that would be wrong. Even in the new year after this chemo...if by some miracle this chemo would produce a remote possibility of a lumpectomy, I now would not do that...I will insist now on the mastectomy. And believe me...this is a miracle shift in my thinking, my understanding, My grasp of RECURRENCE. The good thing is I feel I am in one world class cancer centre...I do feel involved....maybe I don't like at all what is going on TO ME. But I am confident in the strategy. So I would say of course arm yourselves with as much good knowledge....good sources as possible, and talk and ask...but like the earlier me....watch yourself...bouncing around just to find the decisions that you want. I felt that way initially. I acknowledge this is the toughest stuff to face. Hell!!
Be strong today.
It is done on the tissue samples they take during your surgery. It gets sent off to a lab, mine went to California. It takes a few weeks to get the results back.
I'm not sure who is a candidate for the Oncotype test. I just know it takes your tissue from the surgery whether it be lumpectomy or mastectomy and then can tell you the likelihood of recurrence in graph form. My doctors did not want to give it to me and said they knew I would probably be needing chemo regardless. But my 2nd opinion pathologist insisted that I get the Oncotype test before agreeing to have chemo. As it turned out I believe my score was 17 and my chance of recurrence be helped little to none by having chemo. I particularly did NOT want to have chemo if it was not highly necessary because of my post polio background and the possible added side effects.
@A MyBCTeam Member, I think the oncotype test is to show whether a patient would benefit from chemo or not...I am assuming it is if they are borderline whether to have chemo or not. So sorry to hear about your story and I will add u to my prayers. I didn't have chemo, so can't imagine dealing with that, but I hope you tolerate it well. As for Mastectomy, it took a long time for me to be ready, but it has given me a freedom to worry less and live a cancer free life. I am in the process of tissue expanders to prepare for implants and its a long process but will help with my loss of my breasts. I am still a bit emotional and have to work on my self esteem with the change in my body but also feel empowered because I refuse to let breast cancer get me down. It's a part of our lives and has changed us....for the better! This site has been a huge help for me to vent and get helpful information. Hugs and prayers for you!
I had the oncotype test, and it was the determining factor in whether I should have chemo. I was stage 1, but the test showed it was a very aggressive cancer.
Tissue samples were taken during surgery and sent to California, each sample is tested. IN 2010 insurance didnt cover it.