HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a protein found on the surface of cells that, when functioning normally, has been found to be a key component in regulating cell growth. However, when the HER2 protein is altered, extra HER2 protein receptors may be produced. This over-expression of HER2 causes increased cell growth and reproduction, often resulting in more aggressive breast cancer cells.
My oncologist appointment got moved to this morning. Talk about instant nerves!
While the test results aren’t 100% analysed, the first preliminary review and analysis shows that the cancer has not metastacized beyond breast and lymph nodes. I do have cysts in my liver, a degenerative knee joint and some bone islands – none of which are considered alarming or unusual. The CT scan also confirmed a tumour in my left breast that is 2.8 cm.
I am estrogen positive, which means estrogen feeds the cancer and thus I will be forced into menopause.
My HER2 result was neither positive nor negative, so further analysis will be done or testing may have to be done to determine that status. From the website Imaginis:
Thus, we will need to determine HER2 to help decrease the chance of reoccurence and spreading.
My oncologist is pleased and encouranged based on appearance only that the first round of chemo has affected the cancer (less swelling and pain).
So what does it all mean?
It means that, at this point in time, these are all good signs. The fight is still on.