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ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

6 REPLIES 6

Re: ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

As others say every case is different. Both my tumours were triple negative. The last one I had chemo first and nothing was remaining from histology after surgery. After this I was told by my oncologist that my type of tumour and also having the BRCA gene mutation does not usually respond to chemo ! So looks like I am not an average statistic just showing every one is different. Being positive to hormones gives them more drugs to give you whereas I can only have chemo.

Re: ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

I am triple positive (HER, ER, PR all positive). As others have said, receptor status is only one of many variables affecting prognosis.

My layperson's undertanding is that in the pre-herceptin dark ages, HER positive patients had roughly twice the risk of recurrence of HER negative patients (who had the same hormone status, grade, size, node status etc etc).

But Herceptin has the effect of roughy halving this risk (some studies say half , others say two thirds), so this means we are back to having similar risk to HER negative patients, as long as we do the Herceptin treatment for a year. And unlike those nasty but effective chemo drugs, Herceptin has few side effects, the main one being an effect on the heart which is why you have heart scans every couple of months during the treatment.

Herceptin rocks!
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Re: ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

What Revcat said is right - there are many factors involved in a breast cancer diagnosis -each person's disease is different. My cancer is grade 3, ER+ and HER2+ so I am treated for both. Her2+ cells are more aggressive -they divide fast - but herceptin is designed to control/kill HER2+ cells. The risk of recurrence & metastases is higher due to the fast growing nature and biology of HER2+ breast cells, but surgery/chemo/other therapies are effective in attacking them. Even if you are ER+ only, other factors have to be considered.

Re: ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

Hi
I'm her+ and I was told now we have Herceptin, being her+ is the same as being hormone+
i asked the onc after finishing Herceptin what was the chance of the her+cancer spreading. In 2006 he said 15% in the first year and 15% in the second year it goes down significantly. Not sure if its true but that's what he said.
Try not to worry, after treatment get on with enjoying life. If the cancer does return there are still plenty of treatments.
I was unluckily and the cancer did return, that was 6 years ago. Life is good for me, I'm having the time of my life.
Best wishes
Sue

Re: ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

Hi Kat,
sorry to hear about your mum's diagnsois, the early days are a real roller coaster with so much to try to take in and make sense of. I'm not a medical professional, so I can't answer your question, but I hope what i share will be of some small help...

It seems a cliche, but it is the case that everyone's cancer is different; whilst there are some generalities, there are so many variables that it isn't simply a case of 'this type is better' or 'that type is worse'. ER/PR and HER2 status are only two of many factors... type (ductal, lobular, etc), grade, size, lymph node involvement, and a whole host of other factors each come into play. Cancer is terribly unpredictable, and the data available inevitably based on people treated some time ago (e.g. five years survival stats have to from people diagnosed at least that far back, and probably more; not meaning to be patronising, but it was something I suddenly realised and went 'doh!'.) As you get to hear people's stroies, you will find that there are lots of people who, on paper, have a 'worse' prognosis than others, but who stay well and disease free long term.

Actually, having HER2+ cancer has some advantages - knowing that it is receptive to this means that targetted therapies such as herceptin can be used and are proving very effective.

Try not to worry too much about what you read online, and be very careful what you read - a lot of information is out of date or plain old fashioned wrong. If you call the BCC helpline, I am sure they will be able to help you.

Re: ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

Hello Kat77


Maybe a call to our helpline staff would help, they are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.


Best wishes


June, moderator

ER+ PR+ and HER + which has higher risk of recurrence/secondary cancer?

Hi,
Been doing lots of reading since my mum was diagnose a month ago. Didnt know much about BC until now so for a while I didnt really know what doctors were talking about when I went with my mum to her appointments. Now I feel a bit more knowlegeable but still have lots more to learn so I can support my mum.
My mum's tumor is HER positive and as I undertand it is more aggressive then the hormone receptive type. Does this mean she has a greater risk or a recurrence and/or secondary cancer compare to people who are ER/PR+
Kat xx