I had a lumpectomy on March 5, 2009. The tumor was 1.8cm. I am HER2+ with infiltrating ductal cancer. There was no metastasis and I'm Stage 1. I had my first chemotherapy treatment (Taxatore & Carboplatin) on April 6, 2009 and had a toxic reaction that landed me in the hospital for 11 days. I almost died.
My questions are this:
1. Am I a candidate for genetic testing to determine if I really don't need chemotherapy? If so, where in the Baltimore metropolitan area can it be done? I return to the oncologist on March 27, 2009 and I want to be totally prepared discuss my options.
2. If I am not a candidate for genetic testing, can you recommend more conservative preventative chemotherapy drugs that will be effective, preventative and do the job without half killing me?
You have an early stage breast cancer (T1N0M0). Also, you are Her2neu positive, and have not provided details of your ER and PR status.
According to the latest NCCN (National Comprehensive Cancer Network) guidelines, any tumor larger than 1 cm requires adjuvant chemotherapy.
As to the question of genetic testing, please let me know your hormone status (ER, PR), so that we can discuss if you qualify for the Oncotype DX test. Also, please mention if you are pre-menopausal or post-menopausal.
The webpage http://www.oncotypedx.com/HealthcareProfessional/Index.aspx?Sid=19 states that:
"The Oncotype DX® assay provides an individualized assessment of the magnitude of chemotherapy benefit and the likelihood of distant recurrence to inform adjuvant treatment decisions. Women with node-negative, estrogen-receptor-positive invasive breast cancer, and post-menopausal women with node-positive, hormone-receptor-positive invasive breast cancer are eligible."
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