Page 4 of 4Medicine — chemotherapy in particular — has progressed to where it can target my very specific HER2/neu-positive breast cancer.
I am writing this story 1½ years since I started treatment for metastatic breast cancer, and my most recent PET scan showed no evidence of cancer. My oncologist once told me if I Googled my life expectancy after diagnosis, it would say two years. In six months, I will beat that statistic. Then I’ll take on the next.
Lynn Wyatt at age 40, Lynn Wyatt was busy keeping up with her two young children, ages 7 and 10, when she was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer. The cancer metastasized four years later, meaning it spread to other organs in her body outside the breast. Now five years after her original diagnosis, Lynn continues to play tennis on two recreational teams and enjoys bike rides with her kids. She aspires to see her children graduate from college and get married. Additionally, Lynn dedicates her time to speaking about the importance of bringing new medicines to women with metastatic breast cancer.
As a person living with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, Lynn is receiving treatment with a regimen containing Perjeta, Herceptin and chemotherapy. Here is additional information about HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and the treatment Lynn receives.
* HER2-positive breast cancer is characterized by aggressive tumor growth and a poor prognosis, and affects approximately 25 percent of people with breast cancer.
* Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is an incurable form of the disease in which the cancer has spread from the original location in the breast to other organs in the body. Nearly 155,000 people in the U.S. are living with MBC.
* Herceptin is a medicine designed to target the HER2 protein on the surface of cells. It is believed to work by stopping signals that make cancer cells grow and divide and signaling the body’s immune system to destroy the cancer cells.
* Perjeta is another medicine designed to block the HER2 protein, but in a different way from Herceptin. The combination of the two is thought to provide a more comprehensive blockade of the signals that make cancer cells grow.
* Perjeta in combination with Herceptin is FDA-approved for people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. You can find more information about this regimen here. http://www.gene.com/media/news-features/perjeta-approved-for-her2-positive-metastatic-breast-cancer