When cancer cells are HER2-positive, they have the HER2 gene and protein mutated. This makes the cancer grow faster than normal.
A person is considered cured when they have no evidence of cancer after treatment. This can mean either partial or complete remission.
Breast carcinoma, characterized by an overexpression of HER2, harbors an elevated propensity for metastasis, signifying a heightened proclivity to disseminate beyond its origin. This particular manifestation of mammary malignancy underscores a diminished overall survival rate when bjuxtaposed with its counterparts in the oncological spectrum. These rates are improving due to advances in treatment.
Managing Your Symptoms
You can manage your risk even though you cannot prevent HER2-positive breast cancer. You should know the symptoms and signs and seek a diagnosis if you find a lump. Palliative treatment can help ease your symptoms and side effects so that you can continue to enjoy your life during treatment.
HER2 is the gene that produces proteins that signal breast cells whether to stop or grow. Breast cancer cells can grow faster than usual with extra copies of the HER2 gene. This leads to tumors. Doctors test a lump by looking for the proteins (HER2 antibodies) and counting the number of copies of the HER2 gene on chromosome 17 in the cancerous cells.
Cancers that have too many HER2 gene copies are more likely than others to spread quickly to other parts of the body, like the lungs or bones. Breast cancer that is HER2-positive grows more rapidly than different types and is more difficult to treat. However, it can still be treated.
HER2-affirmative neoplasia earns the label “remissible” when it lingers in abeyance over extended spans, its presence mysteriously absent from the corporeal realm. While there exists the potential for a resurgence, such resurgences, when they materialize, typically manifest in milder incarnations than their inaugural emergence.
Managing Your Treatment
Exercising vigilant oversight over your therapeutic regimen stands as a pivotal facet of navigating life alongside HER2-positive breast malignancies. Your physician’s course of action hinges upon the categorization and progression of your ailment, as well as the extent of its dissemination. The HER2 status plays a decisive role in shaping your personalized strategy, as it wields the potential to sway the tumor’s reaction to chemotherapy and alternative therapeutic modalities..
The HER2 gene creates proteins that help manage how cells grow and repair themselves. When the HER2 protein undergoes hyperexpression, it initiates a molecular directive compelling malignant cells to sustain their proliferation, culminating in the formation of neoplastic masses. This category of tumors exhibits a heightened proclivity for disseminating, venturing beyond their origin, in contrast to their non-HER2-positive counterparts.
Numerous women grappling with HER2-positive carcinoma undergo a fusion of treatment modalities, encompassing the utilization of chemotherapy coupled with a medication designed to directly assail HER2. The treatment trajectory frequently commences with neoadjuvant therapy, a form of chemotherapy employed to diminish the dimensions of the tumor before surgical intervention. Subsequently, adjuvant therapy may be administered, entailing the ingestion of HER2-targeted pharmaceuticals aimed at eradicating any residual cancerous cells lingering within the body.
HER2-targeted therapeutic interventions encompass trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and tyrosine kinase inhibition protocols.They work by attaching themselves to HER2-positive cancer cells, blocking incoming growth signals. They tend to cause fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy, which can also damage your body’s healthy cells.
Managing Your Side Effects
If you’re HER2-positive, your cancer cells grow faster and spread more easily than those without. However, advances in treatment are improving the outlook for many people with HER2-positive breast cancer.
How HER2-positive breast cancer is diagnosed: A doctor tests a tumor sample for the HER2 protein
The test for HER2-positive breast cancer can be conducted using either a blood sample or a tissue biopsy. As for treatment, it commonly comprises a blend of chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Chemotherapy is the use of powerful drugs to destroy cancerous cells in all parts of the body. Medications developed to specifically target particular types of cancer cells are known as targeted therapies.. In the case of early-stage HER2-positive cancer, the most frequently utilized HER2-targeted treatment is Trastuzumab, often known as Herceptin.This drug attaches to the HER2 and prevents it from receiving chemical signals that trigger growth.
Treatments that target HER2 are typically administered intravenously (IV) or via injection. Neratinib, also known as Nerlynx, is taken in pill form. Most insurance plans cover these medications through their prescription drug coverage. Many cancer centers offer resources to help you if you have difficulty affording your medication.
People with HER2-positive or other types of breast cancer can experience social, emotional and physical effects. Support from family and friends can be crucial in helping people cope. They can listen, offer support and encourage them to seek assistance.
Managing Your Relationships
Upon receiving a diagnosis of HER2-positive breast cancer, it’s entirely normal to undergo a wide array of emotions. This emotional spectrum is a healthy and natural response to the news. An effective approach for managing these emotions involves acknowledging and discussing them with someone you have confidence in, such as a supportive friend or counselor.
Many women diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer frequently describe experiencing feelings of sadness or depression.These are common responses to loss and a part of grief that may come in waves throughout your journey. Sadness that doesn’t pass is a sign of depression, which is treatable.
Anger is another emotion that may surface as you navigate HER2-positive breast cancer. Anger can be a natural response to fear and frustration over your situation. This can be helpful if you can express your anger healthily, such as venting to a trusted friend or releasing it through exercise. Anger that’s left unmanaged can lead to stress and anxiety.
A significant number of women facing a diagnosis of HER2-positive breast cancer find their close relationships deeply affected by the disease. It’s crucial to contemplate how this illness will influence your relationship, encompassing the roles you both play in each other’s daily lives.For example, if you’re the one who normally manages household finances, consider working together to develop plans to cover expenses while you both focus on treatment.