Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Pathology, Markers, Personality
I  received a copy of the pathology report on the tumor.  This is one time when receiving the news "positive" is good.   In analyzing the tumor, the pathologist will look for certain markers to determine the tumor's "personality."  Beyond knowing if something is cancer or not, we'd like to know if the tumor is aggressive, what type of treatment it will respond to, etc.   There are three things that are reviewed:  estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and HER2.  My results were the best possible combination:  estrogen and progesterone receptor POSITIVE and HER2/neu NEGATIVE

What the heck does that mean?  Well, based on my understanding, estrogen/progesterone receptor positive means that this type of cancer will respond well to estrogen reducing drugs like tamoxifen.  This is good news.  The HER2/neu relates to the growth of the cancer.  Based on my understanding (I can't state that enough), my cancer has a good personality:  not so aggressive and responds well to therapy.  Too bad that didn't describe my last boyfriend!

Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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