Breast Cancer Expert Forum
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Questions posted in the Breast Cancer Forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics include Breast Biopsy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Lumps, Lumpectomy, Lymph node dissection, Lymphedema, Mammograms, Mastectomy, Radiation Therapy, Reconstruction, Self Breast Exam, and Surgery.

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I've gone through a very traumatic experience, both psychologically and psysically.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer (in 2004). I had a radical mastectomy, followed by 25 courses of radiotherapy and a series of four months of FEC chemotherapy. The stage : T2N1M0. The cancer cells have been found in two lymph nodes.
Since March 2005, I follow the treatment with Tamoxifen (it was given for five years).
The IHC tests are : ER -positive / PGR - positive / CerbB2 - positive (+).
I'm worried about the positivity of CerbB2 (+), knowing that has a bad prognosis in disease evolution (compares with the pacients CerbB2 - negative)
Till now, my medical tests are okay, CA15-3 betwwen 9 - 13 U/mL.
My question is that you think the treatment is the right one, or  you think is better to replace Tamoxifen with someting else? (Arimidex,etc..)
Many thanks in advance for your reply and all the best!

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Dear Denisa:  Tamoxifen is a hormone therapy that blocks estrogen to breast tissue.  It is the hormone that is recommended for women with ER/PR positive breast cancer who are premenopausal or postmenopausal.  Arimidex (or other aromatase inhibitors) is another class of hormone therapy that also blocks estrogen to breast tissue but these drugs are only offered to women who are postmenopausal.  Both tamoxifen and armidex only address the ER/PR status and do not have any impact on CerbB2.  There are medications available to address CerbB2 positivity in the US (trastuzumab (Herceptin) and Lapatinib (Tykerb).  Whether or not these would be under consideration would depend upon your situation and your oncologist.  You should discuss your questions with your oncologist who can discuss this within the context of your situation.
Many thanks for your quick reply and kindness.
I forgot to tell you that I had also a hysterectomy after the mastectomy (at 40 yrs old). Now I'm 44 yrs old and I can say I'm a postmenopausal woman. It's now 4 years since I take Tamoxifen (I informed you that it was given for 5 years).
Do you think is better to switch with Arimidex for 1 year? I've heard thet Arimidex is slightly better than Tamoxifen.
Sorry to be a trouble with my questions, but I think you understand me...
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