And currently in Quebec if you have no nodes positive they will allow you to get the Oncotype DX* test which tests your genetic components in your tumour. Then based on your Oncotype results, you can see whether it’s beneficial or not to do the chemotherapy. But as soon as you have a node positive, you’re not automatically entitled to that, but I found a doctor who was willing to order it for me anyway. And then when I got the results back, it turns out that my Oncotype score was 18 which is right at the boundary of low risk and intermediate risk. So being an optimist, I would say it’s the top of low risk. And actually there were two lines and they intersected at exactly my score so one line was Tamoxifen + chemotherapy; the other line was just Tamoxifen and I was bang on the intersection. 

So being a scientist that told me the best information that I have is that there’s no obvious benefit for chemotherapy, so I won’t do it. Which is not necessarily what the oncologists think. But they accepted this, so in fact I made a second PowerPoint presentation for the oncologist. With my graphs and the other parts from my pathology report explaining why I thought the chemotherapy was not necessary. And he didn’t completely agree, but he didn’t completely disagree either. So we didn’t do chemotherapy, and we just started Tamoxifen straightaway which in my case, since I have an ER positive tumour, it’s a very beneficial thing to do.

* Oncotype DX: Diagnostic test that analyzes how gene groups could have an effect on the cancer’s reaction to treatment.


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