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|Forum||Questions||Ask a Question|
|Types and Stages of Breast Cancer
Questions about the different types and stages of breast cancer.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|2/11/2011||I was diagnosed with Stage 2b HER2+ breast cancer. If HER2+ breast cancer can be treated successfully with Herceptin along with other recommended treatments, why do I feel unsure of my prognosis based on literature on HER2+ breast cancer indicating it has a higher recurrence rate than other breast cancers? Is this without Herceptin? Can I rest in the 80th percent chance it won't come back after completing surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and a year of Herceptin? Or do these percentages of recurrence not really apply to HER2+ breast cancer patients? I also read HER2+ breast cancer has a higher chance of traveling to the brain and that Herceptin is unable to penetrate the covering of the brain. I would like information about accurate recurrence rates for HER2+ breast cancer.|
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|2/12/2011||There was a time, before Herceptin, that patients with invasive disease that was locally advanced and HER2 positive painted a negative or at least worrisome outcome. Today, things are quite different. so though HER2 positivity is not ideal, there is a solution-- biological targeted therapy in the form of Herceptin. Hormone receptor status is also very influential for reducing recurrents so ideally a patient woud be ER positive. Being aggressive with treatment, which is what has been described above, is smart and greatly aids in bringing the risk down. Though Herceptin doesn't cross the blood brain barrier, another biologic targeted therapy called Tykerb does. It is used for patients with brain mets actually. Have confidence that you are doing all the right things to remain cancer free. if you dwell on it, then the cancer is winning because it is holding you captive each day and preventing you from enjoying your survivorship life.|
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