Tumour profiling tests for breast cancer

Tumour profiling tests can help you and your doctor decide whether to have chemotherapy after breast surgery.

What is tumour profiling?

These tests look at samples of the tumour to find how active certain genes are in the cancer cells. They do not look at inherited genes. The results help give information about the chances of the cancer coming back.

This can help you and your doctors make a more informed decision about having chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer.

If the results show a low risk of the cancer coming back, you may not need chemotherapy. Your cancer doctor or breast care nurse can tell you more about this.

Your cancer doctor may suggest having tumour-profiling tests if your breast cancer:

Types of tumour profiling tests

There are different tumour-profiling tests. If you are having treatment on the NHS, you are likely to have a tumour-profiling test such as Oncotype DX®, EndoPredict® or Prosigna® Your doctor or nurse can tell you more about this.

About our information

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Dr Rebecca Roylance, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Professor Mike Dixon, Professor of Surgery and Consultant Breast Surgeon.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.

The language we use

We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We want our information to be as clear as possible. To do this, we try to:

  • use plain English
  • explain medical words
  • use short sentences
  • use illustrations to explain text
  • structure the information clearly
  • make sure important points are clear.

We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected.

You can read more about how we produce our information here.

Date reviewed

Reviewed: 01 October 2023
Next review: 01 October 2026
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum

Our cancer information meets the PIF TICK quality mark.

This means it is easy to use, up-to-date and based on the latest evidence. Learn more about how we produce our information.