Genetic test plans treatment for breast cancer patients

Genetic test plans treatment for breast cancer patients
breast cancer gene test

(KAIT/NBC) - Newly released refinements to a powerful study are changing the standard of care for some women with breast cancer.

A genetic test called Oncotype Dx has guided treatment for certain types of early-stage breast cancer for more than a decade.

Doctors said if a patient had a score of less than 10 they did not need chemotherapy. If a patient's score was greater than 25 they did need chemotherapy.

Oncologist Steve Mamus said, for those in the middle range, refined results suggest those women may also be spared.

"Any side effect for something that's not needed is a problem. Personal cost, financial cost, but also exposure to drugs that have side effects," said Dr. Mamus.

Madri Wilson said she isn't afraid of her diagnosis, but she is afraid of chemo. After watching the toxic therapy take a toll on some of her friend's bodies during their treatment, she said she's glad a small pill can save her from that.

"You know here you are taking something that's supposed to help you and it makes you sick. Now with this test my chances of re-occurrence are about three percent," said Wilson

Now Wilson said she can skip the chemo. After five weeks of radiation, she should be cancer free.

"Get the test because it really helps to know your susceptibility and it really helps you decide on treatment," said Wilson.

The test can cost close to $4,000, but it is covered by most health insurances.

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