Herceptin Testing

Herceptin Testing

Herceptin Testing Hi

I wonder if anyone can help

How long do the test results take to come back ?
Also I have just read the uk guidlines on the use of herceptin,if you do not have chemo are you still able to have herceptin.
Thank You

Hello I got my her2 results when I received my surgery results, four weeks after the surgery.

Unfortunately, none of the trials so far has looked at herceptin used without chemotherapy, so there is at present no scientific evidence that herceptin used alone prevents recurrence.

Herceptin Is it possible to have a test for HER2 over 6 months after a mastectomy? Do they have to save the removed breast? When I had my mastectomy last June I am sure they did not test for HER2 because Herceptin was not available anyway. I think I could have paid £50 to have the test done. Is it too late now or can I ask, and who should I ask?
My cancer was Oestrogen receptor positive 6/8 and I did not have chemotherapy or radiotherapy. I am on Tamoxifen.

Zsuzsanna Two issues here:

  1. Samples are taken and retained from removed tissue, and kept in “blocks” that look like the old type of photographic slides. I have seen mine. Tests can be conducted on these remnants of tissue. That is how my HER2 testing was conducted.

  2. Current protocols for Herceptin are to administer only for patients receiving or who have received chemotherapy. Since you had neither chemotherapy nor radiotherapy it sounds in any event like your diagnosis was one of the less aggressive varieties of BC.

By the way, I am glad to see there is someone reading this forum who is actually a bit older than me, as I tend to feel a little lonely out here on the edge at 61!

—to jpoet Gosh your a young thing!. I turned 65 just after my Mastectomy. Any more of us "oldies " out there. Fran

off topic a bit I just wanted to say that I don’t really think about how old people are when they post as it doesn’t matter so I hope nobody feels left out.


Daphne (age nearly 50)

Bus pass this year I’ll be 60 in April, which puts me firmly among the oldies on the forums. As we know it’s the younger ones who are actually in the minority in breast cancer terms, it’s just that they are much more likely to be the computer literate ones.

Don’t worry, Daphne. No one who posts as often I do can feel left out…

Kathy xxx

APRIL EH? I sense a party coming on, everyone. Kathy’s 60 in April. I don’t mind helping with the catering and we can lay up a table in the chitchatfun room and open up the bar. Two months to plan it. Volunteers needed!

Judy xxx

jpoet I wonder if I could be tested for HER2? Would I be allowed to pay for it or could i have it done on the NHS? How did you get the test?
My consultant says that if the primary treatment is finished and the person is well then there is no reason to consider testing, but this suggests that I would have to wait until secondary bc in which case it is only a way to put off the “evil day”. I was feeling “well” before the bc was removed!
By the way I don’t feel 64 and I am still working and very busy and have no plans to retire. Just returned from a holiday in Sri Lanka!
All the best

Yet another oldie re: herceptin Hi Zsuzsanna,

Yes, I too got my bus pass (or rather not - no buses in this area) nevermind - I got my winter fuel allowance! It hadn’t occurred to me that the reason so many of the postings are from younger folk is the computer literacy thing. I think they can be a life line specially with sites like this. Do you think the NHS could provide all over 60s with serious illnesses with computers!!!

I wonder which hospital you are under. I am at the Royal Marsden and was very surprised when I was diagnosed 3 years ago with secondaries and had all the chemos that they were able to chuck into me - the onc disappeared for 5 or 10 minutes, and when he came back said they were going to put be on herceptin! Clearly they have been testing for some time and keeping the results somewhere; my last mastectomy was in 1997.

So it is probably worth some of you ladies asking your oncs. if your tissue has been tested for HER2. Seems to me they only tell us some things on a need to know basis.


very interesting thread! on two counts!
Hi all,
I’m 62! I was not tested for HER2 (almost exactly 2 yrs since dx)
I asked the onc. last time whether i should go privately to have the test done and he said no, because it would not affect the treatment I’m getting at the moment.
I do feel a bit sidelined as I think newer cases are being tested on dx.
Some years ago a dear friend was having to fight for tamoxifen - I seem to remember people had to go to France to get it then. She died, and I just don’t want the same thing to happen to me or anyone else.
My next appointment is nearly due and I don’t know whether to ask again.
Glad there seem to be more of us oldies on the site now. It as been such a comfort and support to be able to come on here.
Love Judy

I was diagnosed in December 2000 at the age of 46 and following 6 months of chemo I then had a mastectomy in June 2001 and have been taking Tamoxifen since.

I’ve just got home from a routine 6 monthly check-up where I asked about HER2 status and the Oncologist said she’d already looked through my notes before I was called in. She’s requesting a check as it wasn’t done in 2001 and I’ve just had a blood test to see if I’m post-menopausal so she can change me onto Arimidex for the next 2 years.

She blew the wind out of my sails as I had written these things down on a post-it note to ask her !!


Not so alone Judy, Dawn, Zsuzsana, Kathy

Dear Ladies. Thank you for declaring yourselves as being pensionable, like me (or nearly so). It makes me feel less lonely at 61 years 7 months … what with all those spring chickens in their 40s and 50s around here!