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That HER2 test
Cea
44 Posts

Another trip to the oncologist today resulted in the finding that the HER2 test was positive.

In short, the cancer is aggressive, but it is early stage.

The result is I go straight to chemo at the Surrey Cancer Centre, starting in the next few weeks.

He doesn’t know about hair loss, but if that happens, just watch for a new tattoo for sure – I have to keep my spirits up 😉

But the doctor is seeing signs that chemo should shrink it radically within the next few months. That will mean surgery, but very minor, in the fall.

I was so stunned - again it is all surreal - I didn't even know what to ask. So now I feel a bit stupid. But I'll be at the Cancer Clinic next week so I guess I get another chance.

big sigh

4 Replies
JustJan
1725 Posts

@Cea Thanks for updating us on your HER2 results. I know it might not be what you wanted to hear, but the good news is that they did catch it early. They do have good treatment strategies for triple positive breast cancer.

@Runner Girl who is also HER 2 positive, may have a list of questions that you can ask the oncologist when you see them.

Ooh a tattoo - what are you thinking about?

Runner Girl
2886 Posts

@Cea

I was also diagnosed HER2+. I had a year of Herceptin treatment in addition to chemo.

Here is my list of questions for your oncologist, use those that pertain to you.

Questions for Oncologist
• Exactly what type of breast cancer do I have?
• How big is the cancer? Where exactly is it?
• Has the cancer spread to my lymph nodes or other organs?
• What’s the stage of the cancer? What does that mean?
• Will I need any other tests before we can decide on treatment?
• Do I need to see any other doctors or health professionals?
• What is the hormone receptor status of my cancer? What does this mean?
• What is the HER2 status of my cancer? What does this mean?
• How do these factors affect my treatment options and long-term outlook (prognosis)?
• What are my chances of survival, based on my cancer as you see it?
• Should I think about genetic testing? What are my testing options? Should I take a home-based genetic test? What would be the reasons for and against testing?
• How do I get a copy of my pathology report?
• If I’m concerned about the costs and insurance coverage for my diagnosis and treatment, who can help me?
• What are my treatment choices?
• What treatment do you recommend and why?
• Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
• What would the goal of the treatment be?
• How soon do I need to start treatment?
• How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
• Should my biopsy tissue be sent for a gene expression test to help decide if chemotherapy might be helpful for me?
• What should I do to get ready for treatment?
• What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest? Are there things I can do to reduce these side effects?
• How will treatment affect my daily activities? Can I still work fulltime?
• Will I lose my hair? If so, what can I do about it?
• What are the chances the cancer will come back (recur) after this treatment?
• What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
• What if I have transportation problems getting to and from treatment?
• How will we know if the treatment is working?
• Is there anything I can do to help manage side effects?
• What symptoms or side effects should I tell you about right away?
• How can I reach you on nights, holidays, or weekends?
• Will I need to change what I eat during treatment?
• Are there any limits on what I can do?
• Can I exercise during treatment? If so, what kind of exercise should I do, and how often?
• Can you suggest a mental health professional I can see if I start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, or distressed?
• Will I need special tests, such as imaging scans or blood tests? How often?

Cea
44 Posts

@Runner Girl Thanks!

Cea
44 Posts

@JustJan My Daughter in law has a head tat and I was going to ask her who did it. I was thinking of something that involves a pink ribbon ;-)

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