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Researchers Use Genetics Test to Determine Which Breast Cancer Patients Could Avoid Chemotherapy

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Disability Help Group

A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine outlines a new genetic test that could help take the guesswork out of deciding whether to treat certain breast cancer patients with chemotherapy. The test, Oncotype DX, searches the DNA in breast tissue, looking for 21 specific breast cancer-related genes. When any of these genes are identified, it adds to an overall risk assessment score that ranges from 0-100. Higher scores equal a higher risk for recurrence of breast cancer.

The study involved 10,273 women who had early-stage, hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Typical treatment for this cancer type involves surgery to the breast, followed by hormone treatment. However, many women also undergo chemotherapy as an additional precaution in case cancer cells have spread outside the breast. The chemotherapy is used to reduce risk of recurrence, and thanks to the Oncotype DX test, doctors could now potentially avoid chemotherapy in women who are not at high risk of recurrence.

Disabled because of cancer or cancer treatments? We Can Help

Breast cancer does not necessarily prevent a patient from working, but treatments such as chemotherapy can cause a greater level of impairment that makes working difficult, if not impossible. Fatigue, nausea, cognitive disruption, and compromised immunity are just a few of the reasons many chemotherapy patients cannot return to work during or after treatment.

If you or a loved one are seeking Social Security disability benefits for a cancer diagnosis and treatment, but were denied, let us help. Contact The Disability Help Group online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332.