Herceptin positive?

Hi ladies

Just wondering if anyone who is Herceptin positive did not actually have the chemo/Herceptin treatment? If so, when was this and have you had recurrance?

Also, has anyone had Herceptin without the chemo first? ( I was told its not licensed to give on its own)

As far as I am aware, you don’t get Herceptin on its own as it works best in tandem with the chemo drugs they give you with it, usually Taxotere.

Hi Lolly
I had herceptin together with Taxotere. I had 3 lots of FEC first and then the herceptin begin with the taxotere and continued on their own for a year. I think as Cherub says you can only have herceptin if you have had chemotherapy.


I am Herceptin positive, (ER/PR negative) but have not had it. My onc said that at the moment it can only be given with chemo but that he thought this might change. I refused chemo as it would only have made a 2.3% difference to my chances, and as I am 64 I decided the side effects would outweigh the benefits - I suffer from bad arthritis anyway and he said the chemo would make it very much worse. I had a lumpectomy in June last year and 5 weeks of rads in August, so it’s too soon to tell whether I was right to refuse it or not. I suppose it’s always there for the future if needed, and my onc fully supported me in my decision.

Hi Redders

Thanks so much for your reply, I now know Im not the only one!! I had lumpectomy last March followed by 20 rads and now tamoxifen and zoladex. My onc said having chemo/herceptin would only make 3% difference, so I refused as Ive 2 young children to look after. I know thwetamoxifen and zoladex give me the same treatment as chemo, but I kept wondering if its more likely to come back by not having herceptin.

My onc said if it were his wife, he wouldnt think it was worth it for 3%

I hope you dont mind me asking, just been reading through the thread- I thought herceptin was supposed to (potentialy) make a big difference if you were Her2 positive. I have never been given any percentages but Im currently having epi/cmf then rads then herceptin. Maybe I should be asking about these percentages. Do you think it just depends on the individual again- sometimes its hard getting your head round it all


Yes I think every case is different. I had small lump with no nodes and because having hormone treatment chance of returning is 11% without chemo/herceptin

I’ve never asked my oncologist about percentages, but I was under the assumption that Her2 positive cancers were particularly aggressive.

Certainly it would seem it was in my case. I had 2 IDC’s in same breast, one was ER and PR positive, the other Her2 positive. The Her2 positive tumour had already spread to one lymph node (which I discovered myself) even though it was only 6mm in size and was not discernible on mammo or u/s. A biopsy of that enlarged lymph node showed IDC cells which were Her2 positive and ER and PR negative).

I had axillary clearance, mastectomy, 4 each of FEC and Taxotere, 15 radios and will finish my 17 Herceptins next month. I’m also on Arimidex. It’s almost 2 years now since I was diagnosed and I’ll shortly be celebrating my 59th birthday.

I did question why I was receiving so much treatment, given that I had only one node involved, and my oncologist said he wanted to throw everything possible at my cancer(s) to give me the best chance of living to be 100. Only time will tell I suppose!


I have been having Herceptin for 2 years 5months,I had 4 x fec, 4 x tax and 15 rads before I started. Originally diagnosed 1999, mastectomy, no lymph nodes involved and no treatment. Recurrence 2005, lots of lymph nodes involved, no mets (as yet) then chemo etc.

I’m her2 + and was offered EC chemo followed by rads, a year on herceptin and tamox for five years. My onc told me it would only have a 3% difference and I could opt to have just rads then tamox but at age 43 I decided to have it all as I would do anything to prevent it’s return.
I’m through the treatment now and just on tamox and have never regretted my choice but it was a hard choice to make.