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All TopicsForum: HER2/neu Positive Breast Cancer → Topic: Herceptin & Nails-When will they improve?

Topic: Herceptin & Nails-When will they improve?

Forum: HER2/neu Positive Breast Cancer — Testing, Herceptin (trastuzumab) treatment, side effects, and more.

Posted on: Jun 8, 2009 10:19AM

BMac wrote:

I finished one year of Herceptin on January 8th/09 and my nails are still a mess.  I have to keep them really short or they split in the middle.  I was also on Taxotere (which I finished March/08) and that really did a number on my nails as well but that can't be the culprit.

So I asked my Onc in May, "When will my nails get better?"  Her response?  It's not the Herceptin.  There are other things that can cause problems with your nails, like your thyroid.  Aye Karumba!  There's nothing wrong with my thyroid!  It's the ongoing effects of the bleeping Herceptin!

So dear ladies who out there has been finished Herceptin and experienced an improvement in your nails?  How long after finishing Herceptin did this occur.  I can't wait to have normal nails again.  Not that I ever kept them long but this is ridiculous.

On a more positive note, my energy has greatly improved since going off Herceptin and I'm able to enjoy life much more.

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Posts 1 - 15 (15 total)

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Jun 9, 2009 03:24AM juliejfsrj wrote:

I finished my year of herceptin in January also.  I did not do any chemo.  My nails did the same as yours, they would split in the middle and peel down.  Reaching into my purse would cause my fingertips to bleed.  I started taking biotin about three weeks ago, and am slowly seeing improvement.  Nails are now almost brittle rather than paper thin.  My nails look pinker and thicker.  They are short still, but feel stronger.  Only my thumb nails are still in terrible shape.

julies

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Jun 9, 2009 05:35AM BMac wrote:

Yeah!  My thumbs too.  They have huge ridges in them.

Barbara

Dx 10/23/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 9, 2009 09:38AM lisa39 wrote:

Hey BMac -- how are you?  We haven't chatted in ages.

Re: nail.. my thumbs are ridged too - and the other nails are thin and peeling.  Get this -the other day, I was getting a basket out of the trunk and it dropped on to my toe.  I was wearing an open-toed sandal and it didn't hurt.. .but when I checked it later, a chunk of the toenail was gone!  I finished Herceptin on May 7th btw.

Lisa

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 9, 2009 09:47AM BRAVEHEART28 wrote:

HEY LADIES!!  HAVE 2 MORE HERCEPTIN'S TO GO.  ONC TOLD ME SOMETIMES THE TAXOTERE CAN SCREW AROUND WITH MY NAILS.  THE HERCEPTIN DOES'NT DO IT.  I HAVE RIDGES AND A BUMP IN MY BIG TOE.  HOPE IT DOESN'T FALL OFF. THAT WOUDL REALLY BE A BUMMER.  IS THE HERCEPTIN DRAGGING ME DOWN.   SOME WEEKS I HAVE NO ENERGY WHATSOEVER.  OTHERS I FEEL REALLY GOOD.  ALSO HAD CHEMO 6X AND 35 RADS.  HAVE BEEN THROUGH A LOT.  LET ME KNOW HOW YOUR NAILS ARE

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Jun 9, 2009 10:14AM pandazankar wrote:

juliejfsrj,what kind of biotin are you taking and how much? I have the big ridges in my thumbs too,almost like a dent.Jackie

DX8/2008 IDC,Stage 1,Grade 3,0/3 nodes,ER/PR-,HER2+

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Jun 9, 2009 09:31PM smithlme wrote:

I saw this thread and had to respond. I didn't have Herceptin because my first cancer was triple negative and I had AC and Taxol. But...I, too, have tissue paper nails that split and have ridges. It will be 2 years in August since I ended chemo. My oncologist told me it was a side effect from chemo...

Linda

Dx 3/31/08, DCIS, ER+/PR- BRCA2+...I am NOT a survivor...I am a 2X breast cancer A$$ kicker!

Dx 3/28/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 10, 2009 07:49PM juliejfsrj wrote:

Pandazankar,

I take Nature's Bounty Biotin 1000mcg.  I think it helps.  My thumbs are also dented in and ridged.   

julies

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Jun 10, 2009 08:04PM swimangel72 wrote:

I finished Herceptin at the end of April this year and my finger nails have improved - but still they split and peel. I finished Navelbine last year so I'm not blaming it on that - Herceptin is known for causing problems with nails. I asked my onc and he said give it a few more months and the nails will get better. He agreed that the Herceptin hurts our nails - he explained that our nails are an extension of the nervous system. The same thing that causes heart problems with Herceptin also causes the nail problems. I never heard that before - that nails are part of the nervous system - I certainly didn't learn that in Biology 101 - but it was one of the few times that my onc actually got talkative, so I tend to believe him.

3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53

Dx 2/5/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 11, 2009 07:51AM BMac wrote:

Hi Lisa, so good to "talk" to you again.  I haven't been online in awhile.  Our internet was down for about a month and I got myself unhooked from constatly being online.  I'm actually beginning to live life again.

Congratulations on finishing Herceptin.  I know I feel much more energetic since finishing.  I still tire easily but at least I'm able to do things.  I started working out again near the end of January and joined an exercise program at Wellspring in April.

Barbara

Barbara

Dx 10/23/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 14, 2009 07:20PM pffida wrote:

I finished Herceptin a year ago and my nails have finally approached normal.  I just got rid of the last split in my thumb.  Be patient -- its just a long wait. 

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Jun 15, 2009 07:17AM BMac wrote:

Thanks pffida.  It gives me some hope.

Barbara

Dx 10/23/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 18, 2009 05:30PM CristlC wrote:

I lost all my toenails while on Taxol and Herceptin.  All but my big toes are growing back in but they aren't good strong nails.  My big toes are awful.  My fingernails separated from the nail bed but didn't come off.  However, they are ridged and discolored but the part that separated from the bed is at least growing out.  They are weak though as well.  I guess the Herceptin is keeping them from healing.  My Onc said it is all from the Taxol.  My new issue on the nails is that they have white spots and flake like they are dry but I keep cuticle oil, lotion, etc. on them.  Who knows.  I am glad to hear there is hope that they will all be normal one day again.  It is hard with it being summer and not wearing sandals.  I will be taking the Herceptin until Nov09 and finished chemo Jan09.

Pathology from Bi-Lateral showed IDC (.4cm) in same breast as DCIS and nodes negative

Dx 6/25/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 19, 2009 03:58AM juliejfsrj wrote:

Having finished herceptin 5 months ago, I finally feel my nails are thicker and pinker, feel smoother and have shape.  They still break if I even reach into my purse, but they don't keep splitting and flaking.  Yay!

julies

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Jul 3, 2009 10:47PM sheila888 wrote:

My nails were messed up just the way you are descriping it, since I was on chemo and Herceptin at the beginning of July 2005, I think chemo did the worst damage. It took at least 2 years to recover completely, I used to cover them with bandaids. They are no longer chipped but my nails never returned to normal. I say thats the least of our problems. We survived worse things. I am happy that Herceptin was approved at 2005 for early stage BC.

I am pleased to say that I found this site where I can share my experiencec with all of you.

Sheila♥

Dx 4/8/2005, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 26, 2010 07:35PM sheila888 wrote:

Smile

Sheila♥

Dx 4/8/2005, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+