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    momongo asked a questionBreast Cancer

    I am currently being treated for breast cancer that has spread to my bones. Am currently receiving Zometa, Faslodex, and Herceptin treatment

    4 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      HER2 is a protein that when defective (i.e HER+) causes breast cells to divide and multiply uncontrollably. Herceptin targets the HER2 receptor in those cells blocking the ability of HER2 to bind with new cells. This typically results in slowing cancer growth or decreasing the risk of recurrence in adjuvant therapy for those already in remission.

      The standard protocol for herceptin is one year, but there are some new studies underway to determine if that should be more or less. Since herceptin is an antibody, resistance to its effects are expected to decline over time and generally the risk of heart damage increases over time.

      In most cases, metastatic cancers are considered treatable but not curable. Hence, treatment becomes ongoing.

      In order to get another opinion, you may need to have something a little more substantial to go on. Getting additional medical opinions is for the purpose of getting additional input on medical procedures or treatment plans, not comparison shopping for doctors. So unless your new oncologist has already developed and provided a treatment plan for you, there really isn't anything to get a second opinion on. However, if you have a written treatment plan from your former oncologist, you could take that to a different oncologist (including your current one, if that has not already been done) for a second opinion.

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      oh man! i think i'd feel the same way - confused and TERRIFIED! i'm so sorry for your diagnosis!

      perhaps the next step is an appointment with your current oncologist to get your questions answered. can you take a trusted friend or family member to an appointment like this? take a list of questions - no matter how long - and get all of those questions answered.

      being on herceptin for about a year and then re-evaluate sounds like the current standard of care. then, other treatment options may or may not be brought on line, depending on how the cancer responded to the treatment. no matter what happens, you should have a fairly clear picture of how things will proceed....

      i don't know if this happened with you, but the first appointments can be just so overwhelming... having a followup might help you clarify things because you won't be dealing with the "holy &%*^" part of the diagnosis. does that make sense? it certainly was true for me. fortunately, i had a very trusted family member at those appointment (my better half) - resulting in detailed notes and help with getting all of our questions answered... that helped tremendously.

      well, those are my few cents. i wish you some peace on this beautiful day (well - here in MN - it's a beautiful day. i hope it is also in your neck of the woods!).

      over 4 years ago
    • blondie's Avatar
      blondie

      I was HER 2 positive. Can't take anything for hormones because my disease was hormonal. Can't take OTC medication for post-hormonal.

      My follow-ups (MRI, Pet-Scan) are yearly. Am being treated for allergy-induced asthma (grass). Recently had my heart medicine (atenolol) switched because I had irregular blood pressure.

      Had to sign up with a neurologist for muscle weakness / muscle cramps.

      Suggest you keep a copy of all drugs / treatments / insurance papers. You should be able to contact your doctor(s) at anytime.

      over 4 years ago
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    Drug or Chemo Therapy

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    momongo shared an experience

    Oh No: Was thinking I was a survivor, until recently told that the breast cancer had spread(can't think of how to spell and can't pronounce masestized!) to my bones! Hot spots all over my body I've been told. My oncologist that I was working with retired. He had said if you are herceptor positive we have a treatment that would zap it into remission. Didn't say how long it would be, found out it could take awhile online. New doctor, his partner(met for 1st time other day), when I asked her said oh no, you will have some kind of treatment the rest of your life! Whoa! Thinking about getting second opinion.

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    Side Effects