HER2 positive breast cancer is a type of breast cancer that tests positive for the HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) protein. In about 25 percent of all breast cancers, the HER2 gene, which is responsible for the production of the HER2 protein, has mutated, causing the body to make too many HER2 receptors. This causes breast cells to grow and divide uncontrollably.
HER2 positive breast cancer tends to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer, as it is more likely to grow faster, spread and recur than other types of breast cancer. However, there are treatments designed to target HER2 specifically, and these have proven effective for many women with this malignancy.
Moffitt's approach to treating HER2 positive breast cancer
The Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program at Moffitt Cancer Center provides comprehensive treatment and supportive care for patients with HER2 positive breast cancer. Our patients benefit from the expertise of a multispecialty team comprising:
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation oncologists
- Fellowship-trained surgeons
- Plastic surgeons
- Fertility preservation specialists
Together, our cancer experts will ensure each patient’s treatment plan addresses her unique needs and provides her with the best chance of achieving a positive outcome and quality of life. We offer many treatments that specifically target the HER2 protein, as well as other common breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
For early-stage HER2 positive breast cancer, a surgeon may resect the tumor as primary treatment. A lumpectomy or mastectomy may be used to remove the tumor. Every patient and cancer is unique, however, which is why every patient at Moffitt receives an individualized treatment plan. With that said, treatment for HER2 positive breast cancer may take a similar approach as HER2 negative breast cancer, but include the use of HER2-targeted therapies.
As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Moffitt is committed to advancing research and treatment for HER2 positive breast cancer. We spearhead an ambitious clinical trials program, where eligible patients may have the opportunity to benefit from the latest advancements in treatment before they are made available elsewhere.
If you have been diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer and would like to consult with a Moffitt physician about your treatment options, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form to request an appointment. Referrals are not required.