Visiting UCLA’s Oncologist
While my oncologist was consulting regarding my new chemo even to Florida, George and I visited UCLA’s oncology department, where Herceptin was invented, referred by a church member to get a second opinion yesterday. “ You are way out of a map. It is difficult to find a right answer.” That is the first statement from Dr. Glaspy. Yet he also said that chemo’s goal is to prevent cancer from coming back, so until then we can’t say chemo was failing. In my case previous chemo couldn’t shrink the breast cancer, but maybe it was preventing metastasis. He, who has many experiences and is knowledgeable, recommended the followings.
Summary of the Advice
- Retest to find out if my cancer is HER2 positive or not. (Depending on the test method, the result could be different.) If the result is HER2 negative, Herceptin is useless.
- If my cancer is HER2 positive, Navelbine and Herceptin may be effective. Use Herceptin as long as possible. ( One of his patients has been using Herceptin for 14 years without relapse.)
- Administer TOPO test ( a gene test) to determine if Andriamycin would be effective or not. If the result is negative, Andriamycin, which has a toxic effect on a heart, could cause some damage on a heart by a combination with Herceptin.
- Radiation is a must. That will improve my survival rate.
- Supplements are harmless to chemo. If they makes you feel hopeful, that is also an effect.
- Even if cancer comes back, there are more plans.
Starting on Monday
Bringing back this advice, today we discussed it with my oncologist. While waiting for the #1 and #3test results, I decided to restart chemo with Navilbine on Monday (10/11). I am so thankful that I could hear the opinions from experts of breast cancer.