Thank you for your questions.
We know that the features of some people’s cancer including hormone and HER2 receptors can change from primary to secondary breast cancer diagnosis. The individual cells develop independently so it’s possible that someone may have different secondary locations with different biological features.
It’s difficult to say how common it is to have mixed types of secondary breast cancer cells simultaneously. However, in recent years we have done more biopsies of secondary breast cancers and more information is gathered. You may want to ask your oncologist this question.
As far as we are aware, there are no specific protocols for treating secondary breast cancer which has different features in different locations of the body. The 5th ESO-ESMO international consensus guidelines for advanced breast cancer (ABC 5) outline treatments for secondary breast cancer.
Oncologists will normally treat each patient as an individual and tailor the treatment to your specific cancer and needs as it sounds as though your oncologist is doing. Different treatments will have different side effects, so combining a number of breast cancer treatments can have an effect your quality of life.
Some people may want to have a second opinion about possible treatment options and doctors are used to patients asking about this. You can talk to your GP or oncologist if you feel this would be helpful and they can then arrange for you to have a second opinion from another oncologist.
We provide a number of different services for people living with secondary breast cancer aimed at providing both information and support.
Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.
The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).
If you would like a nurse to call you do complete this form. Ticking the box agreeing to a call back.
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
Please be aware our Helpline will be closed on Saturday 6 November for training purposes
Breast Care Nurse
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I can't answer your question, but couldn't read your post, and pass by without popping on to say, I soo wish you well with all your various chemo, hormone and rads treatments.
Hope all respond to the treatment, and that you get some positive results soon from it all.
Sending you love and strength to keep battling on, girl. Delly xXx
I've had secondary disease for 3 yrs. My primary diagnosis in 2014 was oestrogen +ve HER2 negative. My secondary presentation was in the lymph nodes above the clavicle, triple negative. I've had several different chemo regimes, with spread to pleura, pericardium, liver and bones. Liver biopsy two year ago was HER2 +ve oestrogen negative, (treated with herceptin/perjeta/doxetaxel). Bioply of my pleura four months ago was triple positive! I'm now on Kadcyla and Letrozole, which has improved my pleural effusion and pericardial effusion, but neck lymph nodes have worsened, so I've recently had radiotherapy. How common is it to have different types of secondary breast cancer cells simmultaneously? My consultant told me there is no protocol to treat both HER2 +ve and HER2 -ve at the same time, is this correct?