What Causes HER2 Positive Breast Cancer?

The exact cause of HER2 positive breast cancer is not yet known, though researchers believe that environment, lifestyle and genetics may all play a role in the development of this malignancy. That said, HER2 positive breast cancer is not hereditary – you can’t inherit a bad HER2 gene from a parent or pass one on to a child.

How does HER2 positive breast cancer develop? 

While we are still learning about the causes of HER2 positive breast cancer, researchers have identified how HER2 positive breast cancer develops. In about 25 percent of breast cancers, the cancer cells have an excess of the HER2 protein. This is caused by a mutation in the HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) gene. When the HER2 gene mutates, it causes cells in the breast to grow and divide at an uncontrolled rate, leading to tumor growth.

Breast cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center has been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, an achievement that speaks directly to our commitment to advancing research and treatment for this malignancy. We are researching the causes of HER2 positive breast cancer every day, and we won’t be satisfied until there is a cure. To advance the treatment of this malignancy, Moffitt spearheads a robust clinical trials program where eligible patients can receive the latest breakthroughs in treatment before they are available elsewhere.

If you would like to learn more about the causes of HER2 positive breast cancer, or if you have been diagnosed with this malignancy and would like to explore the treatment options available to you at Moffitt, we encourage you to request an appointment. To do so, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form. We accept patients with or without referrals.