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    Oncotype DX
    KathyMN posted:
    I was diagnosed in May with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy. Surgeon recommended additional surgery because the margins were not clear. So I had the second surgery in late June. Surgeon referred me to an oncologist who looked at my records and requested a oncotype DX test done. Now, I am waiting the results of that before my appt next week. Has anyone had this test done and did they feel it was beneficial to helping with their treatment plan? The surgeon had thought I would need radiation, but this test does a scoring on the chances of the cancer coming back and whether you would benefit from chemo. I am freaking out! I can't concentrate at work, and can't see to find anything to take my mind off of this upcoming appt. Someone recommended I ask my dr for anxiety meds. Any thoughts on that? How can I calm myself down?
    Rachael67 responded:
    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this, but I am very glad that you found this board as the members will do all they can to make this journey as easy as they can.

    It sounds as if your cancer was found early and, hopefuly, will respond well to treatment. It is not unusual for radiation to follow a lumpectomy so don't be surprised if that is the course of action your doctor recommends.

    Your medical team seem to be right on top of things suggesting the oncotype testing. Many of our members have gone through it and have been delighted that it exists as it offers yet another puzzle piece. If it proves that your particular case will benefit from chemo, then you have that information to toss into the hopper. And if it appears that it isn't going to help, you know that as well. The more information we can have, the more easily we can choose the right path for us.

    Limbo is a dreadful neighborhood, and the sooner you can move out, the less anxiety you will experience. However, if in the meantime, if you or your physician feel a med might ease the tension, that's okay...It doesn't mean it's forever...It simply will help you over this hump.

    In the meantime, however, may I suggest a simple, cheep, non-addictive but quite effective therapy? It's called BREATHING! Yep! We all seem to assume that if we hold our breath when stressed, it will all go away. Sadly, that doesn't happen! So, right now, slowly and deeply, breathe in. And slowly breathe out. Repeat. Again. Continue this until your world begins to slow down to a more manageable pace, and you begin to feel a little more in control. It's amazing what a difference that can make.

    Know that you will be in our thoughts. And keep us updated on how you are doing, and your test results. Okay?

    Blessings. Rachael
    djmelt responded:
    Hi Kathy,

    I know exactly how you feel right now. Rachael has given you some great advise--and she's right, the breathing works wonders! Waiting has got to be the Worst part of this process. Your drs. seem to be right on target with the tests. I didn't have them because I was diagnosed at stage 4-which is a given for chemo and rads. These tests can help you and your drs. decide your treatment plan. Remember, the drs. work for you, not the other way around, so if you are not confident in them, get a 2nd opinion.

    I used meds for anti-anxiety and depression at the beginning of this journey. I've stayed with the anti-depressants and only use the anti-anxiety when needed. It helped me to focus on what I needed to do and cleared the "fog" that clouded with my decision making. Please don't look at these medications as a sign of your weakness, if anything, to me, it's a sign of strength. Now, I recommend that you go out and do something special for yourself. It will help time pass and YOU deserve it. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love and gentle hugs,

    hunneypie23 responded:
    Hi Kathy,

    I had the Oncotype DX test done as I had stage 1 BC and my onc wanted to see if we should go with chemo and rad or just rad. It came back indicating my tumor had a very low risk of recurrence, thank the Lord, so I didn't need to have chemo. I was GLAD that I was able to have that test. I hope your results come out as positive as that!

    God bless, Neena
    ginasus responded:
    Yes, I had Onca DX testing. They test 21 genes and 17 of them are breast cancer genes. It helps them determing your recurrance rate base on several factors. I just LOVE modern medicine. I had a 15% recurrance rate by doing nothing, went down to 9% with 34 sessions of radiation and Tamoxifen and would only have gotten another 2% with chemo. Thank God! Just relax. It is what it is and a lot has to do with your mental attitude and doing as your doctors tell you. I do a lot of research and keep myself very informed. Good luck to you. We had cancer too soon. A doctor at Duke Univerisity is developing a gizmo to put the tumor in to see if more tissue needs to come out. right in the operating room. I also had 2 surgeries. My surgeon is very kind and I don't even need to wear my puffs. The tissue is filling in.
    Beth1952 responded:
    First of all, the test is done on the original tumor that was removed. No more surgery needed for the test.

    I underwent a mastectomy in Jan. 08. Stage 1, no lymph envolvement. Had the Oncotype DX test and got a very low (good) score, which means low risk of recurrence. If the score is high, chemo is recommended, if low, no chemo needed, if midway, you have a big decision to make. It was well worth it to me to know for sure. Since I had the mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy, there was no radiation needed. Usually, radiation is done on surrounding tissue after a lumpectomy.

    You know, as scary as the whole scenario is, you gain strength from it all. Don't know if you are spiritual or not, but praying really helped me. I asked for strength to handle whatever came my way and it worked.
    angel17941947 responded:
    Cancer is such a scary word. One time it is said to us and it is almost not humanly possible to deal with. That word gets on my LAST NERVE !!! it is a nightmare. I will send up prayers for you today and light a candle on our site.

    Prayers and Hugs and All God's love be with you

    foundtheanswer responded:
    I was diagnosed in Aug with Breast cancer - second time - first time was 28 years ago. Mine was Estrogen Positive - a good thing - no lymph nodes involved and I thought I was all set (again) with lumpectoy with 6 weeks of radiation and good to go.

    BUT,, the type of tumor caused concern and the ONCA test was ordered - I scored 29 which meant Chemotherapy - that was last Thursday and I started my first treatment this Wed 10/3/12. This is definitely benefical towards your making good choices going forward.

    Further in testing I found out I am infact BRACA 2 postive for the hereditary mutation. Thus, I have been lucky for the last 28 years not to have had recurrence. After Chemo, I am opting for double mastcetomy, reconstruction and removal of my ovaries.

    Maybe because of my age - who knows - but I am feeling so uplifted to be in charge of my life to make these choices to know that I will not be at risk again for Breast Cancer nor have the pain of Ovarian cancer either.

    Please do not freak out - get some anxiety meds and trust that the doctors and nurses do all that they can to minimize nausea, voimiting and any discomfort you may be fearing. I just bought a wig that I love and I cannot wait to buzz my head and start wearing it.

    Be pround of your self for facing this and know that you are BEAUTIFUL. The very best of luck with your appointment - let me know how you make out. Further, calm yourself down with Yoga, Meditation and strong faith that you will come out of this fine.

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