Hear from Our Patients

Dan W.'s Story

“I was determined to educate myself about all of my options, and thanks to Oncotype DX, I have not lost any sleep or been worried since I received my Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score.”

Dan W., a 66-year-old husband, grandfather, and attorney, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2013, and was presented with the choice of surgery or radiation treatment. Alarmed by the likely side effects of incontinence and impotence, Dan began his own research and became intrigued with a third option – active surveillance, or regular and close monitoring of his disease. When his physician questioned this possibility, Dan continued to search for answers – a quest that led him to the Oncotype DX prostate cancer test.

Dan then met with a radiation oncologist who was willing to recommend the new test based on his positive experience with the Oncotype DX breast cancer test. When Dan’s Oncotype DX GPS result came back, it was a 15, placing him in the “very low risk” group. As a result, Dan and his wife, Debbie, were confident about choosing active surveillance. According to Dan, “I was determined to educate myself about all of my options, and thanks to Oncotype DX, I have not lost any sleep or been worried since I received my GPS result.”

Read More

Lloyd's Story

“Genomic testing determined that my early-stage cancer was not aggressive, meaning that I could choose active surveillance instead of invasive treatment.”

When Lloyd, a financial executive, was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer in his mid-fifties, he was inclined to do whatever was recommended to treat his cancer. After further research, however, he learned that most early-stage disease is not aggressive and may not need immediate treatment.

“Like many men, my first reaction to my diagnosis was fear. I was ready for radiation or surgical treatment, but the likely side effects of treatment – sexual and urinary dysfunction – led my wife, Joan, and me to seek more information.”

Lloyd began his search for more information about his treatment options. He asked for a second opinion, and the urologist he spoke with mentioned that the Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score (GPS) test could help him better understand the biological behavior of his cancer. When Lloyd received a low Oncotype DX GPS result, he knew he would not need immediate aggressive treatment. “Genomic testing determined that my early-stage cancer was not aggressive, meaning that I could choose active surveillance instead of invasive treatment,” said Lloyd. His active surveillance treatment plan consisted of regular check-ups and testing to monitor and ensure his cancer was not progressing.

A few years later, as part of Lloyd’s regular testing schedule, his PSA and a biopsy indicated that he needed surgery. “I am still very happy I chose my treatment path as I did, and I was able to delay surgery for almost 6 years. I put my trust in the Oncotype test and the science behind it, and it gave me and my doctors a clearer understanding of what the cancer might be doing..”

Read More

Dan P.'s Story

“Had I waited to have surgery as originally planned, my cancer could have progressed to an even more aggressive disease.”

When Dan P., 52, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015, he was not totally surprised. He had been getting regular PSA tests since he was 45, and after several years, his result started to rise rapidly. Dan and his physician decided to get a prostate biopsy and learned that he had a 3+4 Gleason score. Based on this information, his radiation oncologist ruled out active surveillance and recommended surgery. Dan agreed with the treatment plan but was not in a rush. There were other things he wanted to prioritize, so he scheduled his surgery a few months out.

"I am now fortunate to be cancer free, with a new perspective on life. And I try to help other men to better understand their treatment options."

While waiting for his surgery, a physician assistant alerted Dan to the possibility of genomic testing. Having worked in healthcare for 20 years, Dan was interested in using genomic data to learn more about his cancer. His research led him to get the Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score (GPS) test. His GPS result came back 68, a relatively high score, and he was upstaged to a more aggressive prostate cancer.

Spurred on by this information, Dan moved his surgery date up by two months. “Prostate cancer is generally a slow growing cancer; but it can also be aggressive, as it was in my case. I became very concerned about the aggressive nature of my cancer and reality of my situation hit home.”

Dan is very grateful that his Oncotype GPS result helped pushed him to get treatment sooner. “Had I waited to have surgery as originally planned, my cancer could have progressed to an even more aggressive disease,” said Dan. “I am now fortunate to be cancer free, with a new perspective on life. And I try to help other men to better understand their treatment options.”

Read More

Jim's Story

“My doctor came to me and said, “We would like to do a genomic test, and we already have the tissue from the biopsy.”…To have all of the knowledge that I have about the disease, about my particular type of cancer. It's giving me the opportunity to do a lot of the things that I would like to do in life.”

Jim, a 71-year-old former sales executive, was enjoying retirement when in 2014, he decided to find out why his PSA, which had been rising slowly, suddenly made several big jumps. His doctor recommended a prostate biopsy which revealed that Jim had prostate cancer, although it appeared to be slow growing according to traditional measures. Jim’s Gleason score was 3+3, indicating that it was low-grade and less likely to spread.

To get a clearer picture of the aggressiveness of Jim’s cancer, his doctor recommended the Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score (GPS) test. Jim was relieved when he received a low GPS result of 10. He felt comfortable choosing a program of active surveillance rather than immediate surgery or radiation – treatments that can often have life-changing side effects such as incontinence and impotence.

“I was relieved when genomic testing confirmed that my prostate cancer was slow growing."

“I realized that it would be premature to pursue any aggressive treatment at that point,” says Jim. Six years later, Jim is secure in the knowledge that regular monitoring will alert him to any change in his condition. “I was relieved when genomic testing confirmed that my prostate cancer was slow growing. I would advise everyone to get all the information you can before you make a decision about your life and your body.” In the meantime, he is loving his life in Phoenix, Arizona, where he enjoys golf, photography, and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Read More
Making cancer care smarter.®