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All TopicsForum: Stage I Breast Cancer → Topic: Her2New

Topic: Her2New

Forum: Stage I Breast Cancer — Meet other members with a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis to share information and support.

Posted on: Nov 30, 2011 06:34AM

AutumnSoleil wrote:

My sister was diagnosed with Her2New Invasive ductal carcinoma, grade 2 at the end of Sept.  The surgeon has had some sudden emergencies in her family and had to reschedule the surgery and my sister opted to wait rather than have someone else do the surgery.  Yesterday she learned the surgery has to be rescheduled again and will know later today when that will be.  She is near nervous break down because of the stress. Her doctor told her that this type of cancer is slow growing and she had nothing to worry about concering a several week wait, but the name alone leads us to believe it's rapid growing, invasive and spreads early based on internet research.  Can someone please let us know if this is indeed a rapidly growing and spreading cancer?  We are so desperate.   Thank you.  

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Nov 30, 2011 06:56AM Megadotz wrote:

Autumn,

You might want to post in the HER2/new positive forum:

http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/80 

There's also a good section in the main section that explains the various parts of the pathology report including HER2 :

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/

The portion on HER2-neu is here:

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/her2.jsp

HER2 is  aggressive, your sister should be seeing an MO. Herceptin is generally used for a year.

 Good luck to your sister.  You're doing a good job supporting her.

Dx 3/12/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2011 11:52AM, edited Dec 2, 2011 12:02PM by AutumnSoleil

Thank you Mgadotz.  The forum is so vast and my mind is not clear.  I will find your links.  Just can't understand why she was told this was a slow growing cancer and then made to wait an additional two weeks.  She finally is scheduled for surgery today. 

 I'm trying very hard to support her, unfortunately she views it as butting in.  See's this as HER journey and one that only she can make.  *sigh*  I try to be understanding. 

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Dec 2, 2011 12:53PM dragonfly1 wrote:

AutumnSoleil I know it's overwhelming and these early weeks following diagnosis are so frightening but please know that the treatment for Her2+ BC has dramatically changed with the availability of Herceptin and your sister's prognosis will be much better as a result. I was in a somewhat similar situation due to insurance coverage issues. I was diagnosed on 11/29/10 and the surgeon I wanted would not be covered by my new insurance until the new year (2011) so I couldn't schedule my surgery until 1/7/11. I met with her for the consultation and expressed concern about the wait. She explained that although Her2+ tumors are aggressive, they still take a long time to grow. She said that my tumor (1.2 cm) had been growing for several years before it was big enough to be seen on the mammogram and that a few weeks/a month would not make a difference regarding surgery. The more crucial timelines happen after surgery when it is recommended that you start chemo/Herceptin within 6-8 weeks for maximum effectiveness.

Also, it's natural that you may be searching the internet for info. about Her2+ BC but be careful and understand that many of the studies you read will quote recurrence rates before Herceptin was being used so the numbers may sound very high. Chemo + Herceptin cuts our recurrence rate in half.  In addition, if your sister's BC is positive for hormones, there are medications she will be able to take to block that recurrence as well. In other words, there are a lot of things that can be done to treat this.

You are a wonderful sister to be concerned and trying to understand her diagnosis. My sister who is a nurse was very frightened by my diagnosis in spite of all of her knowledge-just goes to show that it doesn't matter how much you know, BC is scary stuff when it affects someone you love. The best thing she has done for me is to just be my sister if that makes sense. She has listened to me vent, visited me several times during chemo (she lives out of state), sent me care packages and been the person I can always talk to no matter what I'm thinking/feeling. If you have a close relationship with your sister, this won't be any different than other difficult experiences in your life. It's scary but it gets much easier once she starts treatment and regains a sense of control over it. Wishing you and your sister all the best!

My "jump for joy" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jUmLkbhHZE

Dx 11/29/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+Surgery 01/07/2011 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 02/15/2011 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 02/15/2011 HerceptinRadiation Therapy 06/22/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 09/01/2011 Tamoxifen
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Dec 14, 2011 04:51PM NWArtLady wrote:

Wow Dragonfly, this is a great response!

AutumnSoleil, I agree with everything Dragonfly wrote - it matches with my research (I'm a librarian) and with what my oncologist told me.  I am also Her2 positive and had my surgery 1 month after diagnosis and this was approved by 2 oncologists as well as by my surgeon.

I hope you and your sister are doing well!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... ~Dory