Is it common to require herceptin therapy after masectomy? She recently got operated to remove her left breast. She had a 4cm size tumor, the cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes, and she was ER and PR negative, HER positive. She is planning to start chaemotherapy very soon.. and one of the oncologists is suggesting she start taking herceptin as well in parallel.
Any insights on the pros and cons of taking herceptin? What is the best time to start herceptin treatment? What if we decide to not use herceptin?
Any time the cancer is proven to be Her2 positive ..... Although different, it is similar to the use of Tamoxifen (or other similar drugs) when the cancer is deemed to be ER/PR positive. Herceptin usually is started along with other therapies. You can research the drug at where all actions and side effects are listed. Regards ....
Herceptin is a targeted therapy, meaning it only attacks Her2+ cancers. It does not have the terrible side effects that chemo has. Most people tolerate it very well. I think aches and pains (like flu symptoms) for a day or two are the biggest complaints. Herceptin is extremely effective in reducing the chance for recurrence. Recent studies have shown it reduces it by as much as 50%. It is considered the "standard" treatment now for all Her2+ cancers, regardless of size. I has been called the "miracle drug" for its extreme effectiveness. In fact, the studies were even ended early and all participants were allowed to receive herceptin even if they were not on that arm of the study because of the huge results.
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