Managing within the health care system


So the normal course of events would be that then I’d go for 6 months of chemotherapy and because I had one node positive they wanted to also do radiation, both on the breast area and on the supraclavicular area here. But I didn’t like the sound of that either and we’re really starting to get into the era of personalized medicine where they can look more at the genetic makeup of your tumour to decide whether chemotherapy is beneficial or not. 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 and 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 at the top of low risk . And actually there were twolines 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.

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

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