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What is HER2-positive breast cancer?

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If your breast cancer is HER2-positive, it’s more aggressive than other types of breast tumors, but treatments can help. About one in every five breast cancers is HER2-positive. That means the cancer cells have more of a protein called HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. It causes these cells to grow and spread faster than the ones with normal levels of the protein. You’ll work with your doctor to review the treatment options and come up with a plan that's best for you.

SOURCES:

UpToDate.

Breastcancer.org: "HER2 Status," "How Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Behaves and Looks,” “Inform HER2 Dual ISH Test,”  “SPoTLight HER2 CISH Test.”

Lab Tests Online: "HER-2/neu."

American Cancer Society: "How is breast cancer diagnosed?" "Treatment of invasive breast cancer, by stage,” “Understanding Your Pathology Report: Breast Cancer,” "Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer."

Ithimakin, S. Cancer Research, April 1, 2013.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 21, 2020

SOURCES:

UpToDate.

Breastcancer.org: "HER2 Status," "How Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Behaves and Looks,” “Inform HER2 Dual ISH Test,”  “SPoTLight HER2 CISH Test.”

Lab Tests Online: "HER-2/neu."

American Cancer Society: "How is breast cancer diagnosed?" "Treatment of invasive breast cancer, by stage,” “Understanding Your Pathology Report: Breast Cancer,” "Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer."

Ithimakin, S. Cancer Research, April 1, 2013.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 21, 2020

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What causes HER2-positive breast cancer?

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