Early Stage HER2 Breast Cancer

Breast cancer diagnosis in its early stages that is HER2-positive (HER2+) is usually shocking, but there is opportunity thanks to current therapeutic options. Medical advancements during the previous two decades have given us access to fresh, efficient treatments.

The HER2+ subtype affects about one in five patients. When breast cancer is of the HER2+ subtype, the protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 is found in high concentrations in the tumor (HER2). Because HER2 contributes to cancer cell proliferation, HER2+ breast cancer is more likely to be aggressive.

Treatment Options

Your medical team may use words you are unfamiliar with while discussing the treatment for your HER2+ breast cancer. Here are a few typical ones along with their definitions.


Refers to medical care given before to surgery. Prior to removal, the tumour is to be reduced in size.


Refers to the care provided following surgery. The intention is to eradicate any remaining cancer cells in the body.

Targeted treatment

Medication that prevents a certain cancer cell’s development. It messes with the substances that support their survival and growth.


medications that kill cancer cells.

Hormone treatment

Medications that inhibit the effects of estrogen or lower estrogen levels.


A cancer treatment derived from a live thing or something created by a living thing, such as cells, tissues, proteins, or carbohydrates.

HER2+ Control Strategies

Initial stage HER2 positive breast cancer will probably be treated using a combination of surgery, targeted treatment, chemotherapy, and perhaps additional therapies. Depending on your needs and wants, you can choose what’s best for you. Three common treatment methods include:

Most typical

HER2-targeted treatment combined with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Most HER2+ breast cancer patients employ this strategy, including those with extremely tiny tumors. They will get HER2-targeted therapy as adjuvant therapy following surgery.

Less typical

surgery, followed by chemotherapy and HER2-targeted therapy as adjuvant therapy. Some people will use this tactic, particularly those with tiny tumors.


Your doctor might also suggest endocrine therapy if your malignancy has hormone receptors. It must be taken every day for at least five years after you finish chemotherapy.

Targeted Treatment : Trastuzumab

The first precision treatment for HER2+ breast cancer is the trastuzumab. It is a monoclonal antibody, a class of biologic medication.

Weekly or every three weeks, trastuzumab is administered intravenously (with an IV). A usual course of treatment for adjuvant therapy lasts one year.

Trastuzumab has been shown in numerous studies to significantly increase survival. In fact, trastuzumab-based therapies are regarded as the gold standard for treating HER2+ breast cancer.

Targeted Treatment : Pertuzumab 

Early breast cancer that is HER2-positive is treated with pertuzumab, typically in conjunction with trastuzumab and chemotherapy. Both neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatments are FDA-approved.

Using a Neoadjuvant

for those who have early-stage, inflammatory, or locally progressed HER2+ breast cancer.

The Adjuvant

Early breast cancer that is HER2+ is very likely to return in those patients.

Trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and hyaluronidase, a medication that is used in conjunction with targeted therapy, may be injected beneath the skin.

After getting a year of trastuzumab, HER2-positive early breast cancer is treated with neratinib, a kinase inhibitor. It is a daily medication to be taken.

Other Therapies for Breast Cancer

People with HER2+ breast cancer are living longer and with higher quality of life because to targeted therapy. However, your treatment plan may potentially include additional therapies:


Chemotherapy will be administered to you in cycles. You will have the therapy one day and then have to wait 14 or 21 days for the following one. This provides a time for your body to recuperate from the negative consequences. Expect to begin adjuvant therapy 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Hormone Treatment

The growth of more than half of breast cancers is fueled by estrogen. (The other half doesn’t need it to develop.) Endocrine therapy can reduce or stop the estrogen “food supply” for cancer cells if they are estrogen-dependent.

Radiation Therapy

The proliferation of cancer cells can be slowed or stopped by a high-energy X-ray beam. After surgery, radiation therapy may be used to lessen the possibility of a tumor returning in the breast or chest wall.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine

Trastuzumab is combined with the anticancer medication DM1 in this medication. Your doctor might recommend it as an adjuvant treatment for early breast cancer if:

  • You’ve already undergone neoadjuvant therapy using a chemotherapy and trastuzumab.
  • You continue to exhibit symptoms of invasive malignancy (residual cancer)