10TV: Breast Cancer Patients Are Putting Chemo to the Test
Some women diagnosed with breast cancer may not be receiving the treatment that best suits them, but a new specialized test can make sure that no longer happens.
Deepa Halaharvi, DO, a breast cancer survivor and breast surgeon at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hosptial, has joined a national movement to make sure women are receiving the best treatment plan. The movement “Put Chemo to the Test” not only tests the use of chemotherapy, but more importantly empowers women to have a say in their treatment plan.
Oncotype DX has started to change the way women and doctors create their treatment plans. The test “Looks at the tumor biology and it gives you this personalized valuable information that tells you is there a benefit from chemotherapy,” Dr. Halaharvi told 10TV medical reporter Tracy Townsend. “It is also prognostic and tells you if the cancer’s going to come back.”
The most important thing is making sure patients are informed about their options so that they can make the best personalized treatment plan.“I’m not saying chemotherapy is bad,” said Dr. Halaharvi. However, some women diagnosed with breast cancer are unnecessarily receiving chemotherapy and having to face the harsh side effects.
The Oncotype DX test is used specifically for women diagnosed with stage one or two, hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Your score is out of a scale of zero to one hundred based on your tumor's biology.
OhioHealth recommends women of average risk should schedule annual mammograms beginning age 40, as well as monthly self-breast exams to help prevent against breast cancer. Women should also talk to their doctors to make individualized plans. If you are at a higher risk may need to begin screening sooner.
To find an OhioHealth mammography location near you click here.