February 08, 2023

New Survey Confirms Need to Raise Awareness for Genomic Testing

Facing a cancer diagnosis is no longer as scary as it used to be. In fact, the global cancer death rate has continued to decline over the last ten years, while five-year survival rates have increased.1,2  In breast cancer alone, the five-year survival rate is 85% or higher in the United States, Canada, and many European countries. 3

This increase in survivorship can in part be attributed to recent advances in personalized medicine.1 Cancer treatment is no longer a one-size fits all approach. Thanks to genomic testing, patients can work with their doctors to identify a treatment plan that is best for their individual cancer type. Yet, despite its benefit, a recent survey shows that many are still unaware of this testing option.

What is genomic testing?

Genomic tests help predict the likelihood that a tumor will return by looking at the tumor’s genes. These tests provide actionable information about a patient’s cancer which may help inform treatments options.

Among these tests, the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score® test can help early-stage breast cancer patients and their doctors understand if they may benefit from chemotherapy. Over 1 million patients been spared from unnecessary chemotherapy treatments with this test.4

Tailoring treatments to the individualized biology of each patient’s tumor can help patients and providers make more informed treatment decisions.

MyC Patient Survey

In 2022, we provided support to the Cancer Patients Europe my Cancer my Concern (myC) survey, exploring genomic testing and the breast cancer patient journey.

Launched in September 2022, the survey aimed to understand the level of awareness for genomic testing, and how much healthcare providers were communicating this option to their patients. It gathered information from breast cancer patients in five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Initial findings from the myC survey were surprising. The data revealed that most eligible breast cancer patients are unaware that genomic testing is an option for them. In fact, four out of five European breast cancer patients who are eligible for genomic testing are not told about it. As a result, 75% of eligible patients did not take a test.

“We were surprised to see that the results from the myC survey show an overall lack of awareness for genomic testing in Europe,” said Antonella Cardone, CEO of Cancer Patients Europe. “The data demonstrates an urgent need to shed light on the benefits of genomic testing in breast cancer care among patients and the general public.”

What does this mean?

It’s clear that there is a global need to continue to educate individuals about the potential benefits of genomic testing. When facing a breast cancer diagnosis, patients should all be aware of their options.

Personalized breast cancer care starts with genomic testing. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important to talk to a doctor about whether genomic testing is right.

At Exact Sciences, we’re committed to providing life-changing treatment guidance for our patients. We will continue to raise awareness about the value of genomic testing and how our tests support tailored treatments to each individual.

Learn more about the myC survey here. For more information about the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score® test, visit precisiononcology.exactsciences.com.


McDowell, S., Ludwig Rausch, S., & Simmons, K. (2019, December 30). Cancer research insights from the latest decade, 2010 to 2020. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/cancer-research-insights-from-the-latest-decade-2010-to-2020.html 

2 Ritchie, H. (2019, February 4).Cancer death rates are falling; five-year survival rates are rising. Our World in Data. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/cancer-death-rates-are-falling-five-year-survival-rates-are-rising

3American Cancer Society. (2018). Global Cancer Facts and Figures 4th Edition. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/global-cancer-facts-and-figures/global-cancer-facts-and-figures-4th-edition.pdf 

Exact Sciences. (2021). 2021 ESG Report. Exact Sciences Corporation. Retrieved from https://investor.exactsciences.com/investor-relations/corporate-governance/