What Other Tests Reveal

Your doctors may have also done some other tests to determine if your cancer will respond to specific treatments. These include:

Hormone receptor tests: These can be done using tissue from your initial biopsy and/or from your surgery and determine whether the hormones estrogen, progesterone or both fuel your cancer's growth.

HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2): This test checks if your cancer cells have lots of HER2 receptors on their surfaces, which means they grow rapidly when a specific protein latches onto them. A positive HER2 test used to be bad news, but now a targeted treatment called Herceptin is available for these cancers.

OncotypeDX™: This is a fairly new test that studies the activity of 21 genes within the tumor to find out if chemotherapy can be helpful, and to help gauge the likelihood that the cancer will return.

MRIs: If your doctor recommends an MRI, don't be surprised—the scan can provide a wealth of information that can help determine the best possible treatment.

Sometimes, the best course of action is pretty clear. In other cases, it's not. Luckily, your doctors can now call on a sophisticated computer analysis to determine which adjuvant (add-on) therapies will produce the best results.


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Getting a Second Opinion

What Other Tests Reveal
Understanding Lymph Nodes
Must-Know Definitions
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