Benefits of Genomic Testing
Recent studies of breast cancer recurrence rates show that many women with breast cancer can safely forego chemotherapy and still not have their cancer return. Definitively knowing whether your cancer has a low risk or high risk of recurrence can make choosing the right treatment a lot easier. Breast cancer treatment is no longer one-size-fits-all – and chemotherapy is not an appropriate or recommended treatment if it’s not likely to be beneficial.
Each person with cancer reacts differently to chemotherapy and its various side effects. Chemotherapy works by attacking cells that divide rapidly, like cancer cells, but cells in your hair, mouth, nose, and intestines get hurt, too. This can lead to hair loss, nausea, mouth sores, nerve damage and many other problems. Chemotherapy side effects can continue for weeks or even months after the end of the treatment.
Benefits of Targeted Therapy for Breast Cancer
Targeted therapies for breast cancer are generally less likely than chemotherapy to harm normal, healthy cells. Targeted therapies are usually advised when you know your subtypes.
Because genomic testing can tell you if you are at risk of recurrence, as well as precisely identifying your molecular subtype, it lets you be certain that, whatever treatment you and your doctor end up pursuing, it’s the right one for you.
Other Benefits of Genomic Testing
Genomic testing can also tell you several other pieces of useful information. It is used to identify a breast cancer’s molecular subgroup, also called subtype — which means knowing which parts of its genes are “switched on.” There are four basic subtypes identified so far, and each type responds somewhat differently to various treatments.
This is a very recent advance, and if you’d like to know more, here’s an article from the Huffington Post that might help. Molecular subtypes further help select the right treatment for the specific tumor.
Contact Agendia for more information on breast cancer recurrence rates.