Hello and scared

I was diagnosed with left breast Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and High Grade DCIS last Friday. I am also ER+8/8 and HER2+. The good news is that results of core biopsy says the tumour is only 8mm, no other lesions and no lymphovascular invasion. Right breast is normal. I am having surgery next Wednesday and having a wide local excision with blue dye sampling and sentinel node biopsy. This will be followed by radiotherapy in a few weeks.The surgeon has said it is a small lump and is a curative operation. I know I still have to wait for the final results of biopsy after surgery but on the surface it all looks good.

I will have HRT for the ER8 and my nurse said I may have chemo/herceptin for the HER2+ but might just be the radiotherapy. I have read all the literature given and it all says if HER2+ then chemo is offered. It also says herceptin can cause some heart problems. I have Atrial Fibrillation well controlled with medication and not seen a cardiologist in 8 years.

I am really getting my knickers in a twist that if I can’t have herceptin then I am more at risk. As I understand the HRT, Hereceptin and radiotherapy are there to kill of any rogue cancer cells that might be left behind after surgery that can’t be seen, or belt and braces as it was put to me. I am getting scared that not having herceptin will increase my risk.

i am sorry if I sound dramatic but this is all new to me. My nurse and surgeon know of my atrial fibrillation as it was mentioned when given my results, but wonder if it was forgotten when we were going through what happens next afterwards.

Please can anyone shed any light on this for me. Is it possible to have herceptin with Atrial Fibrillation? Although I wouldn’t want to make it any worse as it is so well controlled. Am I more at risk without herceptin? Is there an alternative.

Thank you all for being there and listening to the ramblings of a 64 year old. xxx

hi Frances,
First of all welcome to the forum, although sorry you find yourself here.
Getting a diagnosis is always a shock, so what you’re feeling is quite normal.
My bc was not her+, but no doubt one of the other ladies will advise, but I understand that keeping an eye on heart function is all part of the management of herceptin treatment & your team will sort this out for you.
At this stage, there is such a lot to take in & the mind goes into overdrive, so it can help to take it a stage at a time & try not to think beyond the next stage. The herceptin issue will be dealt with once you’re at that stage of treatment.
Do come & chat on here whenever you need to, there’s loads of support from us all here. There is also the main bcc site which has any info you need, as well as the helpline of you need to talk things through.


ann x

Hi Frances -welcome .You could ask some of your medical questions re heart condition /herceptin in the " Ask the nurses" section on the forum .They will tailor your treatment to your individual health needs and weigh up the pros and cons of each treatment with you .May be worth ringing your breast care nurse and having this discussion as you are right - they may not have really noted the issues re your heart amongst all the other information discussed .

Sending you lots of hugs Frances.



Hi and welcome to the forum. As far as I understand HER2+ if the tumour is over 1cm chemo and Herceptin which can’t be given without chemo is always recommended but if under that size it is done on a more individual basis weighing up the pros & cons. I have HER2+ and my lump was 22mm therefore I have been told that I have to have chemo and Herceptin despite clear margins and no node involvement. Hope that helps. You will be well looked after and there is plenty of support here Day and night x

Frances,whatever happens there is lots of support here to help you through .Do you have good friends who will help you if you don’t have family ? Sounds like they have caught this very early - so good chance of a positive outcome .

Big hugs to you x

Hi Frances, you sound as if your bc is similar to mine, except I had a micro-invasion on my lump and some lymph nodes were found to be affected when I had my op. I was told I was having chemo yesterday, but maybe be not radiotherapy afterwards. I was concerned about this and asked my bc nurse about why only chemo and she said they’ll see if I need it, so I think that’s probably the same for you not possibly having herceptin. xx

Hello Frances, I do not have Afib but I do have a dodgy heart and I was given all TCH chemo because of that.

In addition I took pynogenol and coq10 and my heart was fine and I managed all 18 Herceptins. It was Bibi on here that put me wise to those supplements and I will see if I can find her thread for you.


I could not get the combined one in her study so I take these:



and any Coq10.


Well I cannot find the original post but this is one that someone else asked about:


How long did you fast for and did you drink normally during the fast? I would have no problem fasting because I have done 5:2 and eat low carb so don’t eat bulky carbs.

Thanks for that, I will look into it.