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Genetic and traditional cancer test results may differ

Many New York cancer patients are getting genetic tests to determine whether cancer is likely to spread in their bodies after surgery. If a DNA test shows a low risk of cancer growth, a patient may decide to skip chemotherapy treatments after surgery. By avoiding unnecessary chemotherapy, some cancer patients may be spared from the toxicity and expense of the treatment.

Though genetic tests might make some cancer patients optimistic about their chances of recovery without chemotherapy, other patients might be concerned that the genetic test results differ from the traditional test results. In many cases, cancer patients who show positive signs in a genetic test tests poorly when they are given a traditional test. A traditional test takes factors like age and lifestyle into account along with evidence of fast-dividing cells and cancer in the lymph nodes.

A study that was conducted in Europe and published in August 2016 compared the outcomes of breast cancer patients who had trusted genetic test results and skipped chemotherapy with patients who had undergone chemotherapy even though a genetic test showed that their cancer wasn't likely to spread. According to the study, 94.8 percent of women who did not get chemotherapy had no cancer growth after five years. Slightly more women, 96.7 percent, who opted to get chemotherapy also had no cancer growth after five years.

People may have a better chance of achieving a positive outcome in their treatment if their cancer is found at an early stage. If they are diagnosed with another condition when they actually have cancer, they could be seriously injured by the delayed cancer diagnosis, and those who are in this position may want to meet with an attorney to discuss their options.

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