Tuesday 16 January 2018

It's life in the pink without chemo for cancer patients

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Hundreds of women with breast cancer have been able to avoid undergoing chemotherapy treatment thanks to an advanced test available to public and private patients.

Some of the women who benefited from the test Oncotype DX gathered for a celebratory lunch in Dublin yesterday, where they were joined by Health Minister James Reilly.

The test examines a breast cancer patient's tumour tissue at a molecular level, and gives information about their individual disease.

Among those celebrating was mother-of-two Linda Hannan (51) from Celbridge, Co Kildare who remembers crying with delight when she was told she would not have to undergo chemotherapy.

"The best moment of our lives was when we found out chemotherapy was not on the agenda, thanks to Oncotype DX.

"I am three years clear and feeling wonderful – it's great to be alive," said Linda, who was treated at the Beacon hospital in Dublin.

The test made by Genomic Health was made available to public patients in October 2011, making it the first country in Europe to fully fund it for those without health insurance.

The company estimated that the test has so far saved the State around €856,440 in treatment costs.

Irish Independent

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