Herceptin , answer needed

Herceptin , answer needed

Herceptin , answer needed My wife , Nicky , as some of you will know , is her 2 + er + and pr + she can not have tamoxifen , I have read that Herceptin can help all her 2 + cancers , whatever the circumstances , all i want to know is can herceptin give her more of a chance , we can not get a straight answer from our onc , i ,m not interested in Her lump was only small and no lymph gland involvement , i undrstand all that , all i need to know is , will it improve her chances of it not coming back , if it can we will try and start funding it ourself . She is having 7 weeks of radio therapy , no chemo although chemo was discussed at length


ER+ or ER-? According to the presentations at San Antonio in December, the probable benefits of herceptin have been shown to outweigh the probable risks in ER-,HER2+++ patients, but the jury is still out on ER+,Her2+++,node negative.

Hi Tim Sorry you’re still worried about Nicky’s treatment. A few points occur to me, having read your post.

The first is that Herceptin is not normally given for early breast cancer without chemo either first or alongside and chemo is nor usually given for small, ER+ tumours with no node involvement… There are risks attached to Herceptin and unless Nicky would get real clinical benefit from it, it is not likely to be prescribed. It’s a case of balancing benefits against potential side-effects.

You haven’t mentioned the grade of Nicky’s tumour (1, 2 or 3) and again this would make a difference as to whether Herceptin would be considered appropriate. If Nicky’s tumour wasn’t high-grade and her risk of recurrence is low enough for chemo not to have been recommended, then Herceptin would probably not make much, if any, difference.

You said in a previous thread that Nicky was going to have her ovaries removed so that she can have Arimidex or Femara, because she can’t have tamoxifen. If this is still the case then she will be getting a very good follow-up treatment, which will do a lot to prevent possible recurrence.

Hope this helps
Kathy xxx

Prognosis Hi Tim

Has Nicky’s Onc gone through the survival’ issues associated with her cancer using adjuvantonline? This looks at 10 year survival and shows what difference the different treatement option open to an individual makes.

If the cancer is less aggressive (G1 or G2), was small, hadn;t spread to the nodes, was oestrogen postivie it may well be (as Kathy also says) that the benefit that herceptin could provide would be limited and not justifiable when balanced agaist the risk of cardiac failure.

Survival stats I have to keep reminding myself are just stats - no one knows individually what will happen to them.

— Thanks for your replies , her tumor was a grade 2 it also says with high grade DCIS ?, . I know i should just let the hospital get on with it but i just need to know i,m doing everything i possibly can , i dont want to miss anything . again thanks for your replies i think sometimes i just need some reassurance , we have been together 25 years and i love her as much now as i ever did


No problem, Tim We all need reassurance where bc is concerned. If I remember rightly, Nicky is being treated at the Royal Marsden and treatment doesn’t come better than that.

If it’s any help, my second tumour last autumn was grade 2 and because it was strongly hormone positive, I didn’t need chemo, either. After my mastectomy, I was put straight onto Arimidex and am tolerating it well so far.

DCIS stands for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ and is usually thought of as a pre-cancerous condition, because it is confined to the milk ducts and can’t spread or invade other tissue. But DCIS can sometimes become invasive which is why it is always treated when found.

No need to apologise for worrying about Nicky. You love her and loving people means you worry about them and do everything you can to help them. I think you are very lucky to have each other and hope that you have many, many more years ahead of you. My huband and I will be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary in April, so I know exactly what you mean.

Kathy xxx

Hello Tim Hi Tim
just to follow up on the other messages regarding Herceptin.
My tumour was small 15mm and is er+[90%] pr+[50%] no node involvement.
I am awaiting my Her 2 results,but have discussed Herceptin with both the BC nurse and Oncologist and all agreed that the benefits of herceptin may well be outweighed by the risks.
I was offered Tamoxifen and Zoladex but have decided on just Tamoxifen and am currently undergoing Rads.
I found it really hard at first to trust what I was being told about my prognosis and if I was getting the right treatments,but I asked lots of questions and slowly things seemed to fall into place,and I seem to have found an inner calm and think you have to trust at some point and BC seems to have a will of its own and I think you have to let go a bit and remember to live as well.
Tim I wish you and Nicky good luck
Sarah x