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Herceptin and Chemotherapy

7 REPLIES 7
Diana
Member

Re: Herceptin and Chemotherapy

Hi I fully understand your concern about chemotherapy. After the recurrence & surgery I was told to have Herceptin and chemo. I was very apprehensive and did not want chemo, only Herceptin, because of the toxicity, but my oncologist explained that actually the chemo drug and Herceptin together has certain synergies to combat cancer much better, rather than chemo or Herceptin alone. To that explanation I then agreed to have them both. You are right that you do not need to complete the whole chemo cycles, but the first few cycles would kick start the drug synergy. I hope that helps.

angel77
Member

Re: Herceptin and Chemotherapy

hiya .. i was given chemo and herceptin ,chemo finished in august last year and im still on herceptin i have 6 more left from 18 .. when i got told i needed chemo and herceptin i was upset and told my oncologist i didnt want it ,i rang and told them my mind was made up and theres no way i would change my mind.. but i did change my mind because i thought to my self i am going to have what ever is offered to me to kill off this cancer .. i am so glad now i made the right decision yes i lost my hair but its coming back now . u have to weigh the pros and cons up pros is you will live longer cons are u will lose your hair . .. please feel free to send me a private message and i will try and help all i can x
waveylocks
Member

Re: Herceptin and Chemotherapy

Hi, so sorry to hear about your mum's diagnosis.
I am undertaking chemo & Herceptin. The research has shown better sucess rates with combined treatment hence the oncologist recommendations. Herceptin has been shown to be really effective at lowering reoccurance of breast cancer which is far more likely in HER2 positive. Sounds like the oncologist is keen for your Mum to undertake the course. What type of chemo are they talking about? FEC? The oncologist will take into account the type/size tumor your Mums age state of health as well as weight when deciding on the strength of chemo -perhaps you and your mum can talk further to the oncologist about how this would be managed and worries about further impact on her health? I know it is all very scary but maybe it is worthwhile asking th e oncologist for more info and the reasons behind the proposed treatment plan? Xx
Boa
Member

Re: Herceptin and Chemotherapy

I was HER2+ and it's correct that NICE has licensed Herceptin to be used with chemotherapy. I'm not sure but I think it's something to do with cost. When it came to talking statistics for my profile the chemo and herceptin looked like an improvement of only 3 % which is borderline so I declined. I'm 64.
apple-eye
Member

Re: Herceptin and Chemotherapy

Thanks, chascat. It's interesting to hear that, about the licencing side. And I think I will take Sam's advice and contact the helpline. I'm finding it quite difficult to find any information on the subject that is relevant to my mum's situation. I appreciate your replies xx

Sam_BCC
Member

Re: Herceptin and Chemotherapy

Hi Apple-eye

 

Welcome to the BCC forums, I'm sorry to read of your Mum's diagnosis.  As well as the support you are receiving here you might find it helfpul to talk things through with a member of staff on the helpline.  Here you can share your thoughts and concerns with someone who will offer you a listening ear as well as emotional aupport and practical information.  The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and lines are open weekdays 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.

 

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator 

chascat
Member

Re: Herceptin and Chemotherapy

Hi Apple-Eye, I'm sorry to hear about your mums diagnosis, glad she has you looking out for her. I wasn't HER2+ but my understanding of it is that Herceptin is only licenced to be given with chemo, hence why the oncologist is insistent, unfortunately their hands will be tied and there doesn't appear to be any choice in the matter. I'm sure someone in the know will be along soon to offer further information. Take care CC x

apple-eye
Member

Herceptin and Chemotherapy

Hello everyone,

 

I was wondering if anyone could offer any advice and information with regards to Herceptin. My mum had a mastectomy three weeks ago and has been told that the cancer was small and has thankfully been totally removed and hasn't spread to her lymph nodes. However, her results came back as HER2 positive and she has been offered a course of Herceptin. She has been told she will have to start chemotherapy alongside it, as she cannot be treated with the Herceptin on its own. My mum is seventy and adamant that she doesn't want to undergo the chemotherapy - the oncologist has told her she must at least start it in order to be given the Herceptin, and that if she becomes too ill they will stop the chemotherapy after a couple of sessions but continue with the Herceptin alone. From my point of view, the chemotherapy is surely not necessary if they are willing to stop it, and it seems as though they just have to tick the chemotherapy box in order for her to qualify for the Herceptin. Has anyone else experienced this? Apologies for being so long-winded! I'm just concerned that my mum will be subjecting herself to a totally unnecessary course of chemotherapy, when she isn't in the best of health anyway, to justify her being given Herceptin.