Prevention & Recovery

Are you getting the right breast cancer diagnosis?

Author: Canadian Living

Prevention & Recovery

Are you getting the right breast cancer diagnosis?

This story was originally titled "Get the Right Breast Cancer Diagnosis" in the October 2009 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

If you've recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, it's understandable if you're worried about the accuracy of your hormone receptor test.

The test is an important part of developing your treatment plan and earlier this year hundreds of women in Quebec received the wrong lab results. Inaccurate results have also been given to patients in Newfoundland. "We don't know how common it is, but it makes one suspicious, especially in this time of cutbacks," says Diana Ermel, president of the Canadian Breast Cancer Network.

Ermel says that if you have concerns about your test results, you should discuss them with the team overseeing your care. Remember, it's OK to seek reassurance and clarification. Ask your oncologist or primary care practitioner if there is cause for concern or contact the centre where you receive your treatment to find out about their lab standards. If these options are not available to you, call the Canadian Cancer Society information service line at 1-888-939-3333.

Tamoxifen and antidepressants may not mix

A recent study of 10.7 million women taking Tamoxifen (a drug used to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer) found that its effectiveness is reduced in women who also take antidepressants.

Tumours were almost twice as likely to return after two years in women who took antidepressants while on Tamoxifen as they were in women who were only taking the cancer drug. If you're taking both medications, don't stop without speaking to your doctor first.

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