What is the Oncotype DX test?
The Oncotype DX is a test done that may predict how likely it is that your breast cancer will return. It also predicts if you will benefit from having chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy. The test results can help you and your doctors make a treatment plan that’s right for you.
This test can be done on early-stage breast cancers (stage 1 or 2) that:
Have receptors for estrogen (estrogen-receptor positive)
Don’t have large amounts of the human epidermal growth factor protein (HER2 negative)
When should I have the Oncotype DX test?
You should have the test done when you and your doctor agree that the test results will be helpful for making decisions about chemotherapy treatment.
How is the Oncotype DX test done and what will I learn from it?
For this test, a piece of cancer tissue that was removed during your surgery is examined. A group of 21 genes in this tissue are analyzed to help determine prognosis (how likely your breast cancer is to return) and if getting chemotherapy will improve your chances that the cancer will not come back.
What is a recurrence score?
Your test results will include a recurrence score from 0 to 100.
Score 0 to 25: Low recurrence score
A low recurrence score is 25 and under. If you have a low recurrence score, the chance that your cancer will return is low.
This also means that the benefits of chemotherapy may not be worth the side effects for you. A low recurrence score doesn’t mean that your cancer will definitely not come back. For some young people, chemotherapy may still be recommended with recurrence scores under 25.
Score 26 to 100: High recurrence score
A high recurrence score is 31 or over. If you have a high recurrence score, the chance that your cancer will return is higher.
Adding chemotherapy to your cancer treatment increases the likelihood that the cancer will not come back. A high recurrence score doesn’t mean that your cancer will definitely come back.
-Memorial Sloan Kettering Center