Herceptin treatment for breast cancer
The cancer specialists at The London Clinic can prescribe targeted drugs like Herceptin to help your body control the growth of your breast cancer.
Breast cancer cells grow in an uncontrolled way. This growth can be stimulated by chemical messages in the blood, which signal to specific receptors on the cancer cells.
These Her2 receptors are found in all cells, they control cell growth and repair. But they are present in particularly high numbers in 1 in 5 breast cancers, which can fuel the cancer’s growth and spread.
Her2 can be blocked by immune therapy, with a drug called Herceptin. It’s a monoclonal antibody that can block the signals, potentially slowing cancer growth and preventing recurrence.
Cancer treatment can be challenging, physically and emotionally. At this difficult time, The London Clinic can offer advanced treatments, as well as support and a stress-free environment in which to recover.
Understanding your treatment
The London Clinic’s expert pathologists will analyse cells from your breast cancer and check for the presence of Her2 receptors. They’re found in small amounts on normal breast cells, but some cancer cells have larger numbers of the receptor. The more receptors a cancer has, the quicker it may grow, but Herceptin can block the signal, slow cancer growth and improve chances of survival.
Your consultant oncologist will discuss your treatment options and design a customised plan of treatment, always considering your feelings and your general health.
Dr Mary McCormack, Dr Suzy Cleator and Prof Paul Ellis will explain what to expect during treatment and take time to answer any questions you may have.
Herceptin is to be given directly into the vein or injected into your thigh, so the experience of treatment is a little like having chemotherapy, although with fewer unpleasant side-effects. If having treatment via your vein, a drip may be inserted, or sometimes a device called an indwelling catheter can be put into your vein. This stays in place throughout the course of your treatment. It reduces the need for repeated needle insertions and can be much more comfortable, especially for people in whom venous access is a problem.
The drug is infused intravenously over around an hour. For early breast cancer, the treatment is repeated every 3 weeks for one year, but for more advanced disease, treatment can be given weekly. If you have the treatment via an injection, the treatment time is less.
Treatment risks and recovery
The first treatment may make you feel unwell, however this usually wears off fairly quickly. You may be tired and notice hot flushes and sweats, diarrhoea and joint or muscle pain.1
With continued treatment, your heart will be monitored because Herceptin can occasionally cause cardiac complications.
The effectiveness of your treatment will depend on the size and stage of the cancer and your general health. Throughout therapy, the London Clinic’s multidisciplinary team will work to maintain your physical health and your emotional wellbeing, they will support you and your family through every step of your cancer journey.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis