Tests for risk of recurrence after 5 years?

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Question from Acky: Are there any new tests for patients diagnosed over 5 years ago to understand their risk of recurrence? What about new types of tests such as hormone responsiveness, or genetic tests? Could one use her or his original cell block for these or are there any blood tests or other types of test?
Answers - Generosa Grana, M.D., F.A.C.P There is currently no test available that can or should be used in someone who is 5 years out from their original diagnosis to assess future prognosis. As an example, Oncotype DX is used to assess prognosis and to determine treatment, but its utility is at time of diagnosis. Things such as circulating tumor cells and other novel approaches may play a role in the future, but not at this point. So the only thing that I recommend to my patients who are at the 5-year or further point of the disease is to continue with usual surveillance and to stay positive.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Updates From the 2008 ASCO Annual Meeting featured Generosa Grana, M.D., F.A.C.P. and Carol Kaplan, M.D. answering your questions about the latest research advances on screening, treatment, side effects, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in June 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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