I think the article refers to the fact that HERpositive is just one of the sub groups of Breast Cancer . This HER positive group accounts for 25 to 30% of all Breast Cancers .
If you are HER negative ( 70% of all cancers ) there is no point in having Herceptin as it doesnt work.
I had an operation to remove the tumour, diagnosed stage 3, grade 3 breast cancer, had chemotherapy and radiotherapy then discovered my tumour was HER2 positive after I thought my treatments all finished eight years ago in 2005, I then had herceptin for a year to prevent a return, then tamoxifen for five years and now on letrozole. As far as I know cancer free now, not many problems on herceptin, the first session I passed out! They quickly brought me round, and I felt very cold and shivery. After that first session no problems, had it every two weeks and didn't notice symptoms. From a very bad initial diagnosis I'm still here, cancer free as far as I know, I've had an isotope bone scan which showed up nothing and clear mammograms. Still under the consultants at hospital for ten years. I'm still around eight and a half years later and fine 🙂 x
Thanks Sarahlouise, that all sounds really positive! I didn't realise herceptin could be given for more than a year or so.
Did you also have chemo when you were first diagnosed?
I am waiting to get my first appointment with the oncologist so I have been doing a bit of research, but it's always much more negative than hearing about real life experiences on here. x
My understanding is that before Herceptin, HER2 positive patients were around twice as likely to have a recurrence as HER2 negative patients. However Herceptin roughly halves the recurrence rate, so with Herceptin, the outcomes for HER2 postive and negative patients are broadly similar.
Hi Powerjen, daisymegan,
I have Her2+ breast cancer and secondaries on my lungs (dx with both primary and secondaires from start) I've been told that I will be on herceptin forever and so far so good and its keeping everything stable. My herceptin nurse comes to my home once every 3 weeks to administer it via IV we chat whilst she's visiting and she told me that all of the women she treats with herceptin are doing really well and some have been on it long term almost 15 years! and they are still going strong, one lady she treats has multiple mets on liver, lungs and spine and she's lived on herceptin for 13 years and is very healthy.
Don't believe all you read I always stick two fingers up to statistics we are all different, and I am certainly not a number, like geordiex said not all breast cancers respond to hercetpin because not all are HER2+, did you know that they have identified 10 different sub-groups for breast cancer, this is a very individual disease and as far as I'm concerned herceptin is my wonder drug and I hope and pray it keeps working for a very long time (Im 45). Powerjen - As for your lump on your scar could it not just be fatty tissue or even a cyst? obviously you need to get it checked out but don't lose hope and I pray that it is not something more sinister. Congratulations on your 5 year anniversarie.
Hope you get some answers soon.
It does seem a confusing article in wikipedia. It seems to be relating to erbB2 status (whatever that is). I had just been reading the same thing before I came on here as I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer that is HER2+ I have had surgery but haven't started treatment yet. I am finding all the statistics a bit depressing.
i was diagnosed 5 years ago with her2 + bc, I was reading on wikipedia that 70% of people do not respond to herceptin, surely that is not the case, I have always read that it is very effective, any thoughts?