Local cancer survivor reacts to new breast cancer study - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local cancer survivor reacts to new breast cancer study

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MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) -

Thousands of women in the early stages of breast cancer can skip chemo therapy and the harsh side effects that come with it, without hurting their chances of beating the disease.

This is credited to a study that included more than 10,000 patients taking a gene test called Oncotype DX.

"People when they are told they have cancer the first thing you think of is how long do I have and what do I need to do to survive," said Kathy Kowalke a breast cancer survivor in Marathon Co. 

Kowalke said if the test helps women pro long their life then they should do it. 

She is familiar with the painful side effects that come with going through chemo therapy,

"I lost all my hair including eyebrows,eyelashes, everything," she said. "I got really sick, I was very nauseous but during it I lost a lot of weight because I just couldn't eat."

Oncotype DX uses a biopsy to measure the activity of genes in cell growth and determine  how the body will respond to hormone therapy.

This is to indicate whether or not the cancer will reoccur.

Experts said the results of the study are expected to spare up to 70,000 patients a year in the United States and many around the world.

The gene test costs $3,000 but is covered by most insurances as well as medicare. 

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