Recurrence risk discussion with my oncologist made no sense
Hi all. I saw my oncologist today, and we were talking about my recurrence risk. I recently started taking tamoxifen, and it's not clear yet whether I can tolerate it. According to my Oncotype test, I have about a 5% risk of distant recurrence during the 10 years after my diagnosis. If I can't tolerate the tamoxifen, she said it'll be 10%. I wanted to know what my 20-year or even lifetime risk of recurrence risk is if I can't tolerate tamoxifen because I read an article saying that the recurrence risk doesn't really decline from year 10 to 20. She said the article is correct, but nonetheless, my recurrence risk without tamoxifen over 20 years is still 10%. I thought it would be higher than 10%?? I'm confused! Can anyone here explain this to me? I was going to PM Beesie but thought I'd put this on the board so others could read it, too.
I didn't want to keep pressing my oncologist for an explanation because I felt a little embarrassed for not understanding the math.