What Is HER2-Positive Breast Cancer?
Questions for Your Doctor
- How are you sure my cancer is HER2 positive?
- Where exactly is my cancer?
- What stage is it?
- What are my treatment options, and what do you recommend?
- How quickly do I need to start treatment?
- How will treatment make me feel?
- Is there a clinical trial that I should consider?
- Will I be able to work?
- Do I need to have my breast removed?
- Do I need radiation?
- Do I need chemotherapy?
- Do I need hormone treatment?
- Does my insurance cover my treatment?
- What if my cancer doesn’t respond to treatment?
Breast cancers aren't all the same. It's important to find out if your breast cancer is HER2-positive because it makes a difference in how you treat it.
HER2-positive cancer doesn't respond well to just hormone treatment that is used for some breast cancers. But there are drugs that target the HER2 protein and greatly lower the risk of the cancer coming back. These drugs kill cancer cells that are making the HER2 protein. They are called targeted treatments, and in the case in of HER2-positive cancer, they stop or block the HER2 protein from helping cancer cells grow.
Taking Care of Yourself
Having breast cancer can be overwhelming. Remember that you're in control of your treatment decisions and how you live your life.
These tips can help you stay healthy while you get treatment:
- Get the support you need, whether it's information about breast cancer, talking with someone, or practical help with daily tasks. It can all make a huge difference in how you feel. The people in your life will want to help, so let them know what you would like.
- Listen to your body. Exercise can help you feel better, but only when you're up for it.
- If you don’t have much appetite, try eating smaller meals every few hours, rather than big meals.