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Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

9 REPLIES 9

Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

I am very sorry to hear about your friend Mandy.
Lacuna like you I finished my treatment last year but in November and I am currently receiving herceptin until September 2013. I am having my second surgery in 1 months time.
12 of my nodes were positive but I still remain positive as everyone is different and I feel the only way to get through this and say F&** OFF CANCER is to remain as positive as you can throughout and try and surround yourself with happy thoughts and the people you love.
All the best xx

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Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

I am so sorry to hear about your friend Mandy. It must have been a terrible time for you, going through treatment yourself whilst watching your friend suffer. I really hope you are doing well and are feeling strong.

I finished active treatment last September (surgery, chemo and rads) and am halfway through herceptin, and about six months into five years of tamoxifen. It is scary to hear that your friend had two positive nodes at diagnosis, as two of my nodes were positive, but I agree that she was very, very unlucky as many women with more extensive node involvement go on to live long and healthy lives.

I hope I didn't take your thread off topic lavendersun. I think herceptin is an amazing treatment and we are so lucky to have it, and the one real downside is that it has to be administered with chemo, but I think it is a price worth paying. I know one lady on this board who last year had four chemos instead of the more common six because she was only really having chemo to have herceptin, so you could maybe ask your ocologist about whether four would be enough for you?

Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

Hi Lacuna.
Thanks for the link to that article. Very interesting reading.
Unfortunately my lovely best friend relapsed before she completed all of her 18 doses of Herceptin. She only had 16 of the 18. She had 2 positive nodes at diagnosis. She unfortunately died 18 months after relapsing and from diagnosis to dying was 3 weeks short of 3 years.
I was diagnosed with HER 2 positive BC a year after she had relapsed so as you can imagine it was extremely difficult to keep positive. I assumed I would end up following in her shoes. It was only after my 17th Herceptin, which she never had, that I started to realise I am different. As are we all.
I can't remember exactly when she started her Herceptin after her chemo, as she had an axillary node clearance at that time too. But I think it was about 3 weeks post chemo.
As lots of people have said to me, my friend was just very, very unlucky.
Where are you up to with your treatment now?

Good luck with everything.
Mandy xx

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Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

Hi Mandy, how long did your friend have to wait after finishing chemo before starting herceptin? As far as I am aware, trials suggest that herceptin is as effective if given soon after chemo, though it is possible that the benefits may diminish over time, for example, months or years. There is an article about it here:
http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.PrintArticle/article_id/342

I ask because I didn't start herceptin until three weeks after chemo finished and was assured by the registrar that this would make no difference to outcomes etc. I kept asking them when I was going to start as I was initially told I would start with the taxotere, but they kept mumbling about needing to book an echocardiogram which they took ages getting round to. You say your friend didn't do very well, what happened to her in the end?

Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

I received fec x 4 then tax x 4 and with the last 2 tax I got herceptin, I am now getting herceptin on its own for another 5 months but am trying to miss 2 x herceptin as I am having a holiday.
As far as I was aware I thought everyone got it that way if they were getting the full wack of chemo like me.

Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

Hi there.
As the others have said, Herceptin is only licenced for use with chemotherapy. if you are having FEC-T chemo, they can't give it you with the FEC part due to the toxicity to the heart of both the Herceptin and the Epirubicin. They start the Herceptin when you start the Taxotere. My oncologist told me that they are getting much better results giving it like this.My best friend was diagnosed in 2008 and had her Herceptin after all 6 cycles of FEC-T, as wasthe policy then, and unfortunately she didn't do very well at all.
Wishing you all the very best
Mandy xx

Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

Hi vodea and welcome
looks like were in the same boat. I am 3 weeks post mx eith recon and doing fine.
Absolutly terrified of chemo!! If you fancy a chat message me and wd can compare notes.
All the best

hugs xxxxxx
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Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

Hello, I am new here but need to have herceptin but was told it is only licensed to be used with chemotherapy. I coped with the surgery but dread this next bit.
V
Bath

Re: Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

Hi Lavendersun,
I'm similar to you. I am hormone neg but HER2 pos and have been told I will need chemo because of the Herceptin. I was told the Herceptin works much better with the chemo than without it.
xxx

Herceptin...why do we have to have it with chemo???

Hi
I am er/pr- but her2 pos and will see my oncologist next week for the first time.
Does anyone know why you cant gave herceptin without having chemo first??
My tumor is small.6cm but the her2 pis worries me also i can have no othervtreatments as hormone neg.
Would love an answer to this.


thanj u.
Lavendersun xxxx