A bit confused about terminology used

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sparky72156
sparky72156 Member Posts: 61
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
When you guys say Her+, does that mean Estrogen receptor positive? Where do the stage IIIa, b, c, etc. come in? I have order Dr. Susan Love's The Breast Book....will that clear everything up for me?

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  • Skeezie
    Skeezie Member Posts: 586 Member
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    Hi Sparky,
    If you Google "Stages of Breast Cancer" (1A 2A etc.)you will get all the info come up, just go into the various sites. I always preferred the ones from the Mayo Clinic. Same for Breast Cancer tumor grade and everything else. I am Triple Neg BC so don't know about the estrogen positive type but there are very educated people on this board who do.

    Unfortunately, very soon you will know what everything means as you move further into your diagnosis (dx) and treatment.

    Hugs, Judy :-)
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
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    Separate Things
    Estrogen receptors (ER) and HER2/neu are different things. HER2/neu is an oncogene; when overexpressed, it leads to more cell growth (from Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, p. 553). Someone can be ER+ and HER2/neu + or ER- and HER2/neu + or ER- and HER2/neu -. For example, my cancer is ER- and HER2/neu -, as well as PgR-.

    Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book will help you a LOT. Information about the biomarkers can be found beginning on p. 275. The section of her book that is most important to you right now begins on p. 243, Ch. 15--the section on breast cancer. I have read and re-read that section! I found that sometimes I didn't take in important information, perhaps because I was in denial when I first read it, so re-reading was necessary to ensure that I really understood what was happening to me.

    As you read more, you may have more questions . . . we welcome you to our sisterhood, though I know you didn't want to be here! Hang in there--you will get through this!

    Sandy
  • dash4
    dash4 Member Posts: 303 Member
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    Good question..
    Thanks for your question-I am new too and thought I understood, but getting more and more confused. Your responses are helping.
    Mary Kay
  • BethInAz
    BethInAz Member Posts: 203 Member
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    Dr. Susan Love
    Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (loaned to me by a friend who went through BC 3 years ago) has been a fabulous resource. My husband and I have read and re-read portions of it. The different testing that your doctor will order for your particular tumor will give you a complete picture of what you're dealing with - and what kind of treatment will best suit you. My tumor was estrogen and progesterone positive - a good thing and responds well to hormonal therapy like tamoxifen. I was Her2/neu negative - also a good thing - as it signifies that cell growth isn't so speedy. If you're Her2/neu positive, I understand from my oncologist that chemotherapy would be extended and would include drugs like herceptin. The last test they did on my was the Oncotype DX test that takes into account 21 different aspects of the tumor to determine what your predictive rate of recurrence for BC within 10 years is. Based on your score, the oncologist can then again determine what treatment would be best for you. In my case, 4 rounds of chemo plus tamoxifen is indicated. The chemo is now done (as of a week ago) and I'll begin the tamoxifen in 2-3 weeks.
    I hope this information has been helpful. For sure, this whole BC thing includes a huge learning curve - one that we'd rather not have to be involved in! But this is our life now and we are survivors! Blessings! Beth
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    Everyone has been great in
    Everyone has been great in explaining this to you. Your oncologist should also explain it to you. Be sure and have him the next time you see him, or, call and make an appointment and tell them that you need some answers to clarify your questions.

    Hugs, Leeza
  • sparky72156
    sparky72156 Member Posts: 61
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    jnl said:

    Everyone has been great in
    Everyone has been great in explaining this to you. Your oncologist should also explain it to you. Be sure and have him the next time you see him, or, call and make an appointment and tell them that you need some answers to clarify your questions.

    Hugs, Leeza

    I will. I haven't seen him
    I will. I haven't seen him formally yet. That comes next week. I just spoke with him on the phone for a bit.