Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Preventative Herceptin Treatment
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Preventative Herceptin Treatment

Hi-I am 36, had a lumpectomy(<1cm), chemo finished July 20th, and almost halfway through radiation.  I tested HER2 positive and my Dr. is recommending Herceptin every week for a year and a portacath.  I live in a rural area and I know that they haven't had many patients do this as a preventative.  Basically, I'm just trying to find out the usual protocol for Herceptin treatments as a preventative.  How much of a window after chemo before starting Herceptin is there?  Are portacath's the usual? Can treatment be every 3 weeks instead of every week? Should a heart echo be done 1st, especially after A/C?  And what types of side effects are most girls experiencing?  Just any info at all would be really appreciated-thank you!!!!!
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Dear NieceLynn:  In a person with a HER2 positive tumor, it is reasonable to administer herceptin for a year, starting after completion of radiation.  Herceptin can be given on a variety of schedules, with every 3 weeks being an acceptable choice.
A portacath is convenient but not necessary if you have good arm veins.  An ECHO of the heart should be done prior to starting herceptin, especially after treatment with AC.
Side effects are generally minimal - flushing reaction, allergic reactions.
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I have breast cancer. Her2 positive. I had a/c 4 cycles. Now I am having taxotere and herceptin and then I will have radioterapy. Should I stop herceptin for Radioterapy? Or start everything again to make the one year period required?
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A related discussion, Restarting Herceptin was started.
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