• HER2: , ER Positive: , PR Positive

    Asked by PaulineJ on Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    HER2: , ER Positive: , PR Positive

    I always wondered what ....HER2: , ER Positive: , PR Positive meant ..... .I googled it once,but still didn't understand the explanations.Please tell me what these are.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      Breast cancers with HER2 gene amplification or HER2 protein overexpression are called HER2-positive in the pathology report. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to grow faster and are more likely to spread and come back compared to HER2-negative breast cancers. But there are medicines specifically for HER2-positive breast cancers.

      ER positive means the tumor feeds on estrogen and PR positive means the tumor feeds on progesterone. These tumors are treated with hormone suppression drugs like Tamoxifen. If your hormones are suppressed, the ER+ and/or PR+ tumor has nothing to feed on and thus, it improves your chances of having the cancer NOT come back.

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      They are proteins/enzymes (HER2) or hormones (estrogen/progesterone) they can affect the growth of cancer cells by attaching themselves to receptors in the cancer cells. Knowing if your cancer is positive or negative for those receptors affects your treatment plan. HER2+ cancers are usually treated with Herceptin infusions and ER and/or PR positive cancers are usually treated with Aromatase Inhibitors. The purpose of the targeted and hormone treatments are to reduce the protein/hormone available to cells thereby reducing the more rapid growth of those cells.

      almost 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      ER and PR refer to the estrogen and progesterone status...was the cancer fuel by ER or PR if so, then its ER+, PR+ or both.....if not then negative.....women who are ER+ can take tamoxifen or AI's. HER2 is a gene /antibody (not sure of the correct word) and is more aggressive form of BC..women who are HER2+ take Herceptin for a year.

      almost 5 years ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      My doctor explained it to me very well today.Thank you for your responses.

      almost 5 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm (Best Answer!)

      Hello, my name is Carm and I am an oncology/end of life nurse. You have gotten some wonderful responses to your question. As a nurse I can tell you that it is always great to see patients empower themselves with knowledge. Let me try and help you understand these terms; if I may. There are numerous causes of cancers when you think about it. Some cancers are born out of the environment, for instance lung cancers that stem from environmental sources like working around chemicals and smoke from incinerators. There are cancers that stem from viruses. Cervical from HPV, gastric from H-Pylori, Liver from HBV or HCV, Kaposi Sarcoma from HIV, lymphomas from EBV. There are familial cancers that come by way of the bloodline like colon cancer (FAP) and some breast, or pancreatic. Most cancers are from a weak link in the DNA chain, a genetic mutation; and then there are a few cancers that are hormone driven, some breast or prostate cancers. When a woman is ER, PR, and HER 2 positive, that means her cancer is hormone driven. It is driven by estrogen (Estrogen Receptor), by progesterone (Progesterone Receptor), and human epidermal growth factor (HE Receptor #2). the HER2 belongs to the family of epidermal growth factor receptors or EGFRs which are responsible for a number of solid cancer types through over expression of this gene, like non-small lung cancers (40-80%), hereditary small cell lung cancer (80-100%), Prostate (40-70%), Gliomas (40-63%), some gastric (25-77%), Breast (14-91%), colorectal (25-77%), pancreatic (30-50%), ovarian (35-70%), Renal cell cancers (50-90%), and bladder (31-48%). So you can see that where that gene is over expressed, it might be the reason that cancer developed. Receptors sit on top of our cells and signal our bodies to what they need and also trigger the production inside our cells as well once they are stimulated. For you, if you are ER, PR HER2 positive, these receptors are what is driving your cancer so the way to combat them is to block hormones from getting to them by using aromatase inhibitors or anti-estrogen drugs that halt the production of estrogen. If you are tested with a BRCA test and you are BRCA2 positive, usually your cancer is hormone driven. If you are BRCA1 you are considered a triple negative which would be negative for the ER, PR, and HER 2 type, and then chemotherapy is more effective than hormone blockers. I hope I have cleared it up somewhat for you. I am always here if you need clarificartion, as are the many wonderful people on this site, best of luck to you, Carm.

      almost 5 years ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      Thank You Carm.I saw my cancer doctor today and kind od described it somewhat like you did..She said I was yes for both ER and PR,but no for HER2,That all I know.I'm on Arimidex for 5 years and 6 weeks of radiation treatments.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      I have no clue, I've only heard them on this site.... I thought it was breast cancer thing...

      almost 5 years ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      Carol me too.I googled them and asked here about it.And still didn't understand it like I would have liked.So I asked my cancer doctor this morning and it made a little sense.Then a ladt here called Carm eplained more.So even though I don't quite understand it did help.All I know is that I have cancer.Otherwise I'm a little densed.LOL!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Diana60's Avatar
      Diana60

      ER and PR positive mean that the cancer is estrogen and progestern fed. Therefore, after radiation and cemotheropy... if you have to have them... you would have to take an estrogen blocking drug for 5 years.

      almost 5 years ago

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