1 in 5 of all breast cancer cases
tests positive for HER2.

You are not alone.
This is where we bond,
we strengthen, we inspire.

A site for women who have been diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer, a place for loved ones to gain a better understanding of the disease, and to share their stories.
I am HER2 positive
Stories that will inspire you

If you are HER2 positive, you need to do everything to fight it. There are others, just like you, who have been through this journey. Their experience can help you cope up better with your treatment and life.

New research shows, talking about their diagnosis, emotions and journey can help women with breast cancer do better after treatment.

Rollover and click to get inspired
"HER2 testing really saved us from uncertainty. Now we see a ray of hope."
"I would say, after detection of HER2 status, how quickly you begin your treatment really matters a lot."
"It is very essential to visit an experienced doctor."
That one decision of consulting an Onco surgeon saved my life.
"I was shocked when I was detected with cancer because I had lost my husband to it earlier."
Despite all the ups and downs during this period, I’m happier than I ever was.
Testing positive for HER2 eliminated further uncertainty and I’m now giving Cancer a fitting reply.
Patient
Mrs. Manorama, 56
Bangalore
Be a HER2 advocate
Quotes
As a teacher, the danger of ignorance is not unknown to me. I sensed pain in my chest one day, when I examined the area of pain, I felt a lump. I then took the decision to visit my Gynecologist without wasting any time. I underwent a mammography after which my Gynecologist referred me to a Cancer hospital.

After undergoing the tests, my Doctor sat me down and confirmed that I had breast Cancer. I have always planned for things ahead in life but I never planned for Cancer. This uncertainty made me undergo a biopsy for the second time from a relative who was a surgeon. This test yielded the same results as before – positive. After an initial emotional breakdown, I decided I would fight with all my might, go ahead and get a mastectomy.

After my surgery followed by a few cycles of Chemotherapy, I was advised to undergo a HER2 test; the results for this was positive as well. I felt the strength begin to leave my body but then I thought about what I meant for my family and friends and what they meant for me. I am now undergoing treatment for HER2 as well.

Testing positive for HER2 eliminated further uncertainty and I’m now giving Cancer a fitting reply.
Patient
Mrs. Shruti
Delhi
Be a HER2 advocate
Quotes
At one point of time in my life, I felt I had everything that I ever wanted. I was working in the banking industry and got married to my childhood sweetheart. After over 4 years of marriage, we decided to start our family. However, life had other plans for us.

In April 2012, I noticed a small lump in my left breast. The lump was painful, which made me neglect it since cancerous lumps are usually not painful. On the trip to my fertility specialist, I mentioned about it to her. She examined it and suggested I meet an Oncospecialist to be on the safer side. I was detected with breast cancer, which tested positive for HER2. My long journey then included mastectomy, chemotherapy, and then finally, reconstruction.

However, despite all the ups and downs during this period, I can surely say that I’m happier and more satisfied today than I ever was. During this journey, I decided to support other patients and survivors. It really gave me a reason to be alive. Today I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who truly love me and who make my life worth living.

She now runs an NGO - Yes to Life to spread awareness and give emotional support to breast cancer patients. http://www.yes2life.in/
Patient
Mrs. Mythily, 63
Ahmedabad
Be a HER2 advocate
Quotes
I had felt a lump in November 2011 but I neglected it – my biggest mistake. In April 2012, I saw blood oozing out and that is when we rushed to the hospital without wasting any more time. After physical examination and biopsy, I was diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer.

We immediately rushed to Chennai for better treatment. The process happened in a matter of 2-3 days. One important thing that I learned is that it is very essential to visit an experienced doctor.

Honestly, my cancer did not bother me too much. I said to myself “There are children who are handicapped or born with congenital disorders. We have lived a healthy life until 60. It is okay to have a medical condition at the age of 60.” I would tell this to everyone around and support him or her – Enjoy the days that you are blessed with.

To keep myself busy, I would read books, watch sports, interact with people, and take long walks – just like a normal person. I never felt inferior to anybody and this is what gave me strength to face my condition. Through spirituality, I started understanding my true self and the larger purpose of life. I maintained steady healthy weight by sticking to a controlled diet and plenty of fluids. This really helped and motivated me to complete my lengthy yearlong treatment, without a single day missed.

Affordability is a very big issue. I was fortunate to have two sons and my daughter-in-law supporting me throughout.
Patient
Ms. Anju
Mumbai
Be a HER2 advocate
Quotes
The first thing that came to my mind after I discovered a lump was ‘Ignore it, it will disappear.’ After a few months of ignoring it, my husband said, ‘There is no question of not showing it, we have to go to a cancer specialist.’ I agreed. That one decision of consulting an Onco surgeon saved my life. We found out that I was HER2 positive. The course of treatment was decided based on that finding.

Upon finding that my cancer had metastasized, I was very emotional and my first reaction was ‘What have I done to myself!” It was a very difficult time. Throughout my journey, we did a lot of questioning and I told myself ‘This too shall pass’. For support, I took to holistic healing because I believe cancer starts from the mind. Changing my diet was extremely therapeutic and was a huge reversal for me. I truly believe, what you put in your body changes your reactions to life.

More than the fear of the cancer coming back, the confidence I had was about knowing how to handle it if and when it would. I feel it is extremely important to keep your mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, which we tend to ignore more often than not. When you get cancer, it is important to address it and embrace it with love and understanding.

I love my cancer; it has taught me so much.
Patient
Mrs. Archana, 47
Mumbai
Be a HER2 advocate
Quotes
My cancer was diagnosed in May 2014. I was shocked when I was detected with cancer because I had lost my husband to it earlier. I was operated on the third day of being detected with HER2 positive breast cancer. I had been extremely negligent about myself and thus, my cancer had entered the third stage, which is why I was going through that pain.

Even after being educated, we often do not give time to ourselves owing to our busy schedules. We often ignore our health. Unfortunately, I did the same. Every person should take time for themselves, pay attention to their health. Family is important too. With support from family, the patient automatically starts feeling healthier and better.

A cancer patient only needs love, emotional, and moral support.
Patient
Mrs. Subhlaxmi, 61
Bengaluru
Be a HER2 advocate
Quotes
My wife and I are only a year old in dealing with being HER2 positive, but we are facing cancer boldly. It is essential to accept the condition completely, we feel. Our emphasis is on remaining cheerful; because we know the end result might not really be in our control. Besides, we truly believe that being cheerful will help improve her immune system and help her get better sooner. We both agree that we should not be looking for sympathy from friends and relatives, as we feel it would make us resistant to accepting the disease.

My wife was on eighteen weekly cycles of chemotherapy and Herceptin. Now, she is on Herceptin alone, every three weeks. After HER2 diagnosis and the subsequent change in treatment, her PET scans show improvement. This is very encouraging for all of us. Her blood is tested every week to ensure everything is in the normal range.

HER2 testing really saved us from uncertainty. Now, we truly see a ray of hope.

- Mr. Ramdeo, husband.
Patient
Mrs. Sanjivani, 53
Mumbai
Be a HER2 advocate
Quotes
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2013. Stage 3, my doctor had said. It was unexpected. I was very shocked and my whole family was in panic. But this only lasted till the time we met my oncologist. He advised me to get a biopsy, PET, CT scan and a FISH test done. These tests were very important because they confirmed that I had HER2 positive breast cancer. 

I would say, after detection of HER2 status, how quickly you begin your treatment really matters a lot. While on therapy, I am cautious about what I eat and do not consume spicy, oily, or sour food. I also avoid having too many sweets. I constantly look for any new signs my body shows and talk openly about them to my doctor and family members.

I would like to mention that my family has been very supportive and has helped me cope with my condition well. They ensure that the atmosphere at home is always cheerful. It is very important for one member of the family to constantly be with the person undergoing treatment. 

I want to tell all the readers that HER2 positive breast cancer can be managed with the help of medicines available these days. One just needs to trust their doctors and follow their treatment regimen.
Be a
HER2
advocate
If you, a family member, or loved one has been affected by HER2 positive breast cancer, would you like to help raise awareness by sharing your story?

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HER2
advocate
Women with HER2 positive breast cancer have many questions. Family members and relatives can provide help and encouragement. But when you share your story with these women, you inspire them.
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Are you
HER2 positive?
If you have breast cancer, it is advisable to test for HER2 status. Your test results may change the way your doctor treats you. Survival rates increase dramatically upon early diagnosis of HER2 status.

Rollover and click to know more
Know
HER2
What is HER2 positive breast cancer?
HER2 positive breast cancer is the one that tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). It promotes the growth of cancer cells. In about one out of every five breast cancer patients, the cancer cells make an excess of HER2 due to a gene mutation.
This gene mutation occurs only in the cancer cells and is not a type of mutation that you can inherit from a parent. This gene mutation, and the raised levels of HER2 that it causes, can occur in many types of cancer — not only breast cancer. The HER2 gene controls a growth-promoting protein on the surface of breast tissue cells. Each healthy cell contains two copies of the HER2 gene. Sometimes, too many copies of the HER2 gene are present in a cell that leads to too much HER2 protein. This is called overexpression of HER2.
What does testing positive for HER2 mean?
HER2 positive cancers are more aggressive and tend to grow and spread more quickly than cancers with a normal amount of HER2. Therefore, treatment regimens change when it is discovered that you are HER2 positive.
HER2 positive breast cancers are often associated with a higher tumour grade. HER2 positive breast cancers often contain lower levels of estrogen and progesterone receptors than HER2 negative tumours. Therefore, women with HER2 positive breast cancer may benefit less from certain types of hormonal therapy. HER2 positive tumours respond best to certain types of chemotherapy drugs, in combination with HER2 targeted therapies. Examples of these drugs include trastuzumab (Herceptin), lapatinib (Tykerb), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla).
Test
HER2
For whom is HER2 testing recommended?
Routine testing for HER2 is recommended for most women diagnosed with breast cancer because the results may affect treatment recommendations and decisions.
In addition, if the breast cancer spreads to another part of your body or comes back after treatment, testing should be repeated on the new tumor or areas where the cancer has spread. This is because the test results would influence your treatment options. If the cancer is HER2 positive, HER2-targeted therapy is a recommended treatment option for you. If the cancer is HER2 negative, HER2-targeted therapy is not a treatment option for you, and your doctor will give you other treatment options.


Talking to your doctor about the HER2 test

It is important that you and your doctor know if your breast cancer is HER2 positive or negative, whether the cancer is newly diagnosed, has spread, or has come back after treatment.
Your doctor will use the results of HER2 testing to make sure you receive the appropriate treatment and avoid the side effects of a treatment that is unlikely to work. Use this information to talk with your doctor about the results of your HER2 testing, including what they mean and how they affect your treatment options.
How is HER2 tested?
The currently approved tests for HER2 are
immunohistochemistry (IHC) and
in-situ hybridization (ISH).
IHC testing can show how much of the HER2 protein is present on the cancer cell surface, while ISH testing measures the number of copies of the HER2 gene inside each cell. There are two main types of ISH tests: fluorescence and bright-field ISH. Most HER2 tests are clearly negative or positive, meaning that your cancer has either a high or a low level of HER2. If your test results are not clearly positive or negative, testing may need to be repeated, either on a different tumor sample or with a different test. Sometimes even with repeated testing, the results may not be conclusive so you and your doctor will have to discuss the best treatment. Only an accredited laboratory that follows specific testing procedures should perform this testing.

Consider asking your doctor the following questions:
1.
Are the results of HER2 testing on my tumor clearly negative or positive? What does this mean?
2.
Will the test need to be repeated? If so, is another tumor sample needed?
3.
If my cancer has spread, will HER2 testing be done on the metastases? If so, what does this involve?
4.
Can I obtain a copy of my pathology report (laboratory test results)? Is my HER2 status indicated on the pathology report?
5.
Are you comfortable with the results?
6.
Based on these test results, what treatments do you recommend? Why?
7.
What are the possible side effects of these treatments?
Learn More
  about HER2 treatment options
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)

IHC shows how much HER2 protein is present in the sample of tissue taken from the cancer. The HER2 level is graded from 0 to 3+.

1. 0–1+ means there is a normal amount of HER2, and the result is HER2 negative
2. 2+ means there is a moderate amount of HER2
3. 3+ means there is a higher than normal level of HER2, and the result is HER2 positive.

If the result is 2+, guidelines recommend you have a FISH test. The results of this test will help to identify people with a level of 2+ who will benefit from treatment with Herceptin.

Your specialist doctor will discuss your results with you.
FISH (fluorescence in-situ hybridization)

FISH measures the amount of a gene called the HER2/neu gene, which is responsible for the overproduction of HER2 protein in each cell. About 1 in 4 people (25%) with a 2+ result will have a positive FISH result.


The result will be either:
1. FISH negative, which means there are normal levels of the gene present
2. FISH positive, which means there is at least twice as much as the normal level of the gene present (the cancer is HER2 positive).


Your specialist doctor will discuss your results with you.
Treat
HER2
Surgery, to remove the cancer, is usually the first treatment for primary breast cancer. However, you may also have other treatments to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. These include radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Moreover, newer treatments called targeted therapies, such as trastuzumab (Herceptin), have been developed to specifically treat HER2 positive breast cancer.
How your specialist decides what treatment to choose

Your specialist looks at different factors to assess which treatments are the most effective for you. These include:
1.
The stage of the cancer (its size and whether it has spread outside the breast).
2.
The grade of the cancer (how fast growing the cells are).
3.
If the cancer cells are HER2 positive.
4.
If the cancer cells have receptors for the hormone estrogen (which means they will respond to hormonal therapy).
5.
If you have HER2 positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, your treatment will depend on any previous treatment you have had and how long ago this was.
Learn More
Treat
HER2
The type of surgery you have will depend on the size and position of the cancer. Your doctor will discuss with you and then you and your doctor will decide which operation is best for your individual situation.
Wide local excision (lumpectomy)
This is the removal of a breast lump, together with some surrounding tissue. This is known as breast-conserving therapy. It removes the least amount of breast tissue, but leaves a small scar and sometimes a small dent in the breast. A wide local excision is usually followed by radiotherapy to the remaining breast tissue. For most women, the appearance of their breast is good after this type of surgery.

Removing the breast (mastectomy)
Sometimes your surgeon may advise you to have a mastectomy, or some women may choose to have a mastectomy. A mastectomy may be advised if the lump is large in proportion to the rest of the breast, or if there are areas of cancer in different parts of the breast.

Checking the lymph nodes
The surgeon will usually remove some or all of the lymph nodes in your armpit to check if any cancer cells have spread from the breast.
Chemotherapy is usually given after surgery to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Sometimes, it may be given in combination with targeted therapy, for example, with trastuzumab (Herceptin). Occasionally, chemotherapy and trastuzumab are given before the surgery (called neo-adjuvant treatment).
Women with HER2 positive breast cancer are usually treated with chemotherapy drugs known as either anthracylines or taxanes, although these drugs don't specifically target the HER2 protein. Some studies show that these drugs work better than others do, for people with HER2 positive breast cancer. You will usually have a combination of two or three chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy can cause side effects including increased risk of infection, feeling sick (nausea) and tiredness. Many of the side effects can be reduced, so it is important to tell your cancer doctor or nurse if you have any problems. Anthracycline chemotherapy drugs are not given at the same time as Herceptin because they can together affect the heart. Your doctor can give you more information about this.
Radiotherapy treats cancer by using high-energy rays to destroy the cancer cells.
It is given after breast-conserving surgery and sometimes after a mastectomy to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back in that area. It can also be used to relieve pain caused by a cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones.
It is often given after surgery to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back or to control the cancer if it has spread to other parts of the body.
Breast cancers that have hormone receptors and need the hormone estrogen to grow are known as estrogen receptor positive (ER positive) cancers. Hormonal therapy blocks estrogen from attaching to the cancer cells, or reduces the amount of estrogen in the body. HER2 positive breast cancers tend to have fewer hormone receptors but some do respond to hormonal therapy. Drugs such as tamoxifen, anastrozole, letrozole or exemestane can be used.
Drugs that specifically block HER2 to stop the growth of cancer cells are called HER2-targeted therapies.
Examples of these drugs include trastuzumab (Herceptin), lapatinib (Tykerb), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla). These therapies are monoclonal antibodies that target HER2 positive tumors. These drugs are effective against HER2 positive breast cancers, but they are costly. Rarely, these drugs cause serious side effects, such as heart problems, liver inflammation, diarrhea, and skin problems.

Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
Trastuzumab, which specifically targets HER2, kills these cancer cells and decreases the risk of recurrence. Trastuzumab is often used with chemotherapy. But it may also be used alone or in combination with hormone-blocking medications, such as an aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen. Trastuzumab is usually well tolerated, but it does have some potential side effects, such as congestive heart failure and allergic reactions.

Lapatinib (Tykerb)
Like trastuzumab, lapatinib is a HER2-specific drug. Lapatinib may be effective for HER2 positive breast cancer that doesn't respond to trastuzumab. Lapatinib is used in combination with the chemotherapy drug capecitabine (Xeloda) and the aromatase inhibitor letrozole (Femara). Lapatinib is also being studied in combination with trastuzumab. Common side effects include rash, loose stools and the potential risk of congestive heart failure.

In addition, there are several new medications being developed that also target HER2 and are being tested in clinical trials. Your doctor will recommend treatment based on your individual condition.
Learn More
  about Targeted treatment for HER2
Targeted
treatment
for HER2
Trastuzumab: What is the benefit in HER2 patients?
Trastuzumab is a type of drug known as a monoclonal antibody—a man-made version of a very specific immune system protein. It attaches to HER2 and can help slow the growth of cancer cells with too much HER2.
Trastuzumab activates your immune system to slow or stop the growth of HER2 positive cells after you’ve had surgery and chemotherapy. Every woman’s risk of cancer returning is different. Trastuzumab is one treatment that can help reduce this risk for women with HER2 positive breast cancer. How trastuzumab will benefit you depends on your individual circumstances. Studies have shown that trastuzumab can reduce the risk of your cancer by about 50%.
What should I discuss with my doctor about the side effects?
Trastuzumab is generally well tolerated and does not have the same side effects as chemotherapy, such as hair loss, severe nausea and vomiting and increased risk of infection.
However, if you receive trastuzumab and chemotherapy, you may experience the side effects of the chemotherapy medicine you are being treated with. Compared with chemo drugs, the side effects of trastuzumab are relatively mild. These side effects are rare and may include fever and chills, weakness, nausea, vomiting, cough, diarrhea, and headache. These side effects occur less often after the first dose.

A more serious potential side effect is heart damage leading to a problem called congestive heart failure. For most (but not all) affected women, this effect is temporary and has improved when the drug is stopped. The risk of heart problems is higher when trastuzumab is given with certain chemo drugs such as doxorubicin and epirubicin. For this reason, heart function is checked regularly during treatment with trastuzumab. Major symptoms of congestive heart failure are shortness of breath, leg swelling, and severe fatigue. Women having these symptoms should call their doctor right away.
What is the usual treatment schedule that I will have to follow?
Trastuzumab treatment is given as an IV infusion (drip) and treatment usually starts after you’ve had surgery and chemotherapy. It is normally given every 1 or 3 weeks.
This usually takes place in the cancer department at a hospital or clinic. It is given with chemo at first, and then on its own, usually for a total of a year of treatment. This may also be started before surgery as neoadjuvant therapy. You may receive trastuzumab alone or in combination with other breast cancer treatments. Your specialist will decide which combination of treatments is best for you.

The first infusion of trastuzumab will generally be given over 90 minutes. After the infusion, you will need to wait for a short time to make sure you don’t have a reaction to the trastuzumab. Subsequent infusions will generally take 30 minutes if you receive trastuzumab weekly, or 90 minutes if you receive trastuzumab once every three weeks. The infusion may take longer if it is slowed or interrupted, if you experience side effects or have an allergic reaction.
How long will the treatment continue?
Women with HER2 positive early breast cancer can receive 1-year trastuzumab treatment. Women with HER2 positive breast cancer can receive trastuzumab for as long as their specialist feels it is useful.
All medications have risks and benefits, and trastuzumab may not be suitable for some people. Trastuzumab only targets the HER2 positive cells, so it is only available for women with tumours that test positive for it.
Staying
positive
During cancer treatment, you may feel:
1.
Depressed
2.
Anxious
3.
Afraid
4.
Angry
5.
Helpless
6.
Alone

It is normal to have these feelings. But as you recover and get back to your everyday life, these usually get easier to deal with. Talking to family and friends often helps. If you think you may be depressed, or feel helpless or anxious a lot of the time, talk to your cancer specialist. They can refer you to a counselor who specialises in helping with the emotional problems of people with cancer.
There are many things you can do to cope up with your feelings during treatment.

Here are some ideas that have worked for other people. Eat your favorite foods on days you do not have treatment. This way, you enjoy the foods, but they won’t remind you of something upsetting. Relax, meditate, or pray. Activities like these help many people feel calm and less stressed. Talk with someone you trust about your feelings. You may want to talk with a close friend, family member, religious or spiritual leader, nurse, social worker, counselor, or psychologist. You may also find it helpful to talk with someone who has gone through cancer treatment.
Strong feelings during treatment can affect your interest in food, shopping, and cooking. Some tips that can make you feel better are:
1.
Join a cancer support group. This can be a way to meet others dealing with problems like yours. In support group meetings, you can talk about your feelings and listen to other people talk about theirs. You can also learn how others cope with cancer treatment, side effects, and eating problems. You may also want to know about support groups that meet over the Internet. These can be very helpful if you cannot travel or there is no group that meets close by.
2.
Learn about eating problems and other side effects before treatment starts. Many people feel in better control when they know what to expect and how to manage problems that may occur.
3.
Get enough rest. Make sure you get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. During the day, spend time doing quiet activities such as reading or watching a movie.
4.
Do not push yourself to do too much or more than you can manage. Look for easier ways to do your daily tasks. Many people feel better when they ask for or accept help from others.
5.
Be active each day. Studies show that many people feel better when they take short walks or do light exercise each day. Being active like this can also help improve your appetite.
6.
Talk with your doctor about medicine if you find it very hard to cope with your side effects.
Living
Healthy
Good food choices make a difference
If you're recovering from surgery, receiving chemotherapy or radiation, or having other breast cancer treatment, your main focus is on getting rid of the cancer. Eating well will help you stay strong by giving your body the nutrients it needs. Plus, a healthy diet can help you manage treatment side effects.

Cancer treatment often causes side effects, such as nausea, mouth sores, and taste changes that may make it difficult to eat or drink. Follow these tips to help you get the nutrition you need:
1.
If water tastes unpleasant to you, take in more liquid through items such as soup, tea, milk or milk substitutes such as soya milk. You can also flavor your water by adding freshly cut fruit.
2.
If food tastes bland, try seasoning it with flavorful spices such as garlic.
3.
Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of trying to eat large amounts of food at one time.
4.
If meat is no longer appealing, get protein from foods such as fish, egg whites, cheese, beans, lentils or nuts.
5.
Suck on mint leaf, or try fresh citrus fruits like lemon or orange if you have a metallic taste in your mouth. If you have mouth sores or a gum infection, use a blender to make vegetables and meats smooth. Try juicing or making smoothies.
6.
Talk to your doctor.
Exercise is your key to feeling active
Exercising during chemotherapy can help ease side effects, such as fatigue and nausea, and can help boost your immune system. Chemotherapy side effects can sometimes make exercising tough, but try to be as active as you’re able to be. Again, walking is a good way to start. People receiving chemotherapy and radiation who already exercise may need to do so at a lower intensity and build up more slowly than people who are not receiving cancer treatment. The main goal should be to stay as active as possible and slowly increase your level of activity over time after treatment.

Certain issues for cancer survivors may prevent or affect their ability to exercise. Some effects of treatment may increase the risk of exercise-related problems.

You may need to talk to your doctor before you start in some cases like:
1.
Your blood counts are low immediately following chemotherapy. You may need to delay activity until you get better.
2.
Those with weak immune systems should avoid public gyms and other public places until their white blood cell counts return to safe levels.
3.
People getting radiation should avoid swimming pools because chlorine may irritate the skin at the treatment area.
4.
If you’re receiving chemotherapy to treat breast cancer that has spread to the bone, you may have a higher risk of breaking a bone. You may have to lower the intensity and duration of your workout. Talk to your doctor about the exercises you plan to do.
5.
If you’re on chemotherapy or targeted therapy that may cause heart damage, make sure you ask your doctor or your cardiologist what type of exercise modifications, if any, are right for you.
Tips to manage common treatment related side effects
The side effects you may have from chemotherapy depend on the regimen you're on, the amount of medicine you're receiving, the length of treatment, and your general health. The side effects you have may be different from someone else who is on the same regimen. If medicines aren't controlling the side effects, your doctor can help you find something that works. Most chemotherapy side effects go away shortly after you've finished chemotherapy. Still, some side effects may take several months or longer to go away completely. While your body is recovering from chemotherapy, other medicines can help ease many of the side effects you may have. It's important to tell your doctor and oncology nurse about any side effects you're having.

Some tips that will help you feel better:
1.
Save your energy. Help your body recover by doing less and resting more.
2.
Let people help you. Family, friends and neighbors often want to assist but may feel unsure about what to do. They could help with shopping, child-care, driving or housework.
3.
If you are employed, consider whether you could take some time off, reduce your hours or work from home during or after chemotherapy. Some workplaces might allow you to work flexibly around your treatment.
4.
If there is a time during the day when you tend to feel most energetic, try to plan activities during this time.
5.
Do light exercise, such as walking. If you have a normal exercise routine and you feel up to it, ask your doctor if you can exercise.
6.
Don’t start any new exercise activities until you have recovered from treatment.
7.
Try to get more sleep at night and take naps during the day if you can.
8.
Some people benefit from doing relaxation or meditation exercises.
9.
Try to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
10.
 Check with your doctor whether your fatigue is related to low red blood cell count (anemia) so it can be treated.
Planning
Ahead
Worrying about the cancer coming back (recurring) is normal, especially during the first year after treatment. This is one of the most common fears people have after cancer treatment. And even many years after treatment, this fear may still be at the back of your mind. As time goes by, many people say that their fear of cancer returning decreases and they find themselves thinking less often about cancer. Keep your follow-up visits with your doctor regularly.

While there is no guarantee that seeing your doctor regularly will keep the cancer from coming back, it will help find any recurrence as early as possible. The earlier the cancer is found, the easier it is to treat. It’s also reassuring to know that your doctor is watching you closely to be sure there are no signs of cancer recurrence. Also, do get your tests done as advised by your doctor.
Dealing with cancer diagnosis and treatment is like a journey, so it may take time to return back to normal. However, you could follow some simple rules to get back sooner:
1.
Take one day at a time.
2.
Take time out to address your individual issues.
3.
Spend time with friends and family, and join a support group.
4.
Your story can be an inspiration for others battling cancer.
5.
Take care of your diet and health.
6.
Follow your check-ups regularly with your doctor.
Following some simple steps could go a long way in reducing the risk of getting cancer again:
1.
Eating healthy – More fiber, fruits and vegetables in your diet.
2.
Maintaining your weight.
3.
Exercising regularly as advised by your doctor.
4.
Avoiding stress and staying positive.
5.
Reporting any physical changes to either your oncologist or primary care provider.
6.
Continuing with regular health screenings.
Dr. Ganapathi Bhat. M
Consultant Medical Oncologist & Stem Cell Transplant Physician, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai.

Dr. Ganapathi graduated in Medicine in 1993 and did his Post graduation in General Medicine in 2000. He further trained in his chosen field of oncology in various institutions in India and later gained expertise in stem cell transplant while working at the Kuwait Cancer Control Centre (2002-2006). He was admitted as Member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences in the year Dec.2002. He then gained specialized training in stem cell transplantation as part of the ESH-EBMT (2007), 2011 (Labaule, France) and ICAS training program (2009) from ULM University, Germany.

He is also a member of academic organizations namely ESMO, IELSHG, EHA, Asia Pacific Bone Marrow Transplant and an Affiliate of the American Association for Cancer Research. He served on the board of teaching faculty (Kuwait) for MRCP (Pathology & Hematology). He has to his credit numerous academic articles published in Indian and International journals and textbooks. He is also an instructor and examiner (National Board of Examinations India) for general medicine and Medical Oncology. He is involved in various clinical trials as investigator and co-investigator. Areas of special interest: Stem cell Transplant, Targeted therapy, Zevalin therapy in NHL and Radio-peptide therapy, Cell therapy
Dr. Sumeet Shah
Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Mumbai.

After completing his M.S.(General Surgery) from the Sir J.J.Group of Hospitals, Dr. Shah spent five years in Surgical Oncology at the Tata Memorial Centre. He is now into his own private practice and performs all major and supra major surgeries for solid organ cancers, his specialty being complete management of Breast cancer and Gastro Intestinal and Pancreato Biliary cancers. He manages one of the most popular websites on breast cancer in India and he started the first online Indian forum for Indian breast cancer patients. He is a trustee of the NGO- The Pink Initiative (http://thepinkinitiative.org), through which he conducts breast cancer awareness sessions in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

Also, Dr. Sumeet has his own website www.breastcancerindia.net - a one stop resource portal for all queries regarding breast cancer.
Dr. Rohan Khandelwal
MS MRCS (Edin.), Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon

Dr. Rohan Khandelwal completed his Fellowship in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery from Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center, Bangalore and is currently working at the Aiello Breast Center, University of Maryland. He runs a popular blog about his experiences as a surgeon titled - Random Reflections of Breast Surgeon (www.docrohan.wordpress.com).
Dr. K. Pavithran, MD, DM
Professor & Head,
Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology,
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala


Dr. Pavithran completed his MD in internal medicine from Calicut Medical College and DM in Medical Oncology from Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore. He underwent training in hematology from Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom, and gained experience in bone-marrow transplantation from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, USA. He is currently working as a Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India.

He is a member of many national (ISHTM, ISMPO, ISO, API) and international organizations (International Medical Sciences Academy, International Society of Geriatric Oncology, European Society of Medical Oncology, International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and International Society of Gynecologic Oncology).
The Book Shelf
Hospitals
Care
Center
  • Cancer Patients Aid Association
    King George V Memorial, Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai - 4000011.
    Ph. (022) 24924000

  • Indian Cancer Society
    Lady Ratan Tata Medical And Research Centre, M Karve Road, Cooperage, Mumbai - 400021.
    Ph. (022) 24139445 / (022) 24125238

  • Passages
    92, Lady Ratan Tata Medical and Research Centre, Cooperage, Mumbai - 400021.
    Ph. (022) 22047823 / 98202 00300

  • Suman Ramesh Tulsiani Diagnostic & Rehabilitation Centre
    Prabhadevi Industrial Estate, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400025.
    Ph. (022) 24383296

  • V Care
    Om Residency, 102 A Wing, Near Tata Memorial Hospital, JW Road, Parel (E), Mumbai - 400012.
    Ph. 98219 49402 / 1800-209-1101

  • Women’s Cancer Initiative - Tata Memorial Hospital
    Clinic Research Secretarial, Annex Building, 5th Floor, Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr Ernest Borges Marg, Parel (E), Mumbai - 400012.
    Ph. (022) 24177000 extn 4254      Email. info@saveraonline.org

  • ascAS
  • Cancer Patients Aid Association
    H1572, Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi - 110019.
    Ph. (011) 26270470 / (011) 26272298      Web. www.cpaaindia.org

  • Cancer Sahyog
    Q5A, Jangpura Extension, New Delhi - 110014
    Ph. 99105 16562

  • Can Support
    Kanak Durga Basti Vikas Kendra, Sector 12, RK Puram, Near CGHS Dispensary, New Delhi - 110022.
    Ph. (011) 26102851      Web. www.cansupport.org

  • Global Cancer Concern
    111/9, Opposite B4 Kishangarh, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110070.
    Ph. (011) 26897829

  • Indian Cancer Society Organisation
    Q5A, Jangpura Extension, New Delhi - 110014.
    Ph. (011) 26494907 /(011) 26499572.      Web. www.indiancancersocietydelhi.in

  • Medanta Breast Service
    Medanta-The Medicity, Sector 38, Gurgaon, Haryana - 122001.
    Ph. (0124) 4141414      Web. http://www.medanta.org/

  • ascAS
  • Karnataka Cancer Society
    1308, 11th B Cross, Vyalikaval Extension, Malleswaram, Bengaluru - 560003.
    Ph. (080) 23448534

  • ascAS
  • Cancer Foundation of India
    47/2D, Selimpur Road, Kolkata - 700031.
    Ph. (033) 24056161      Web. cancerfoundationofindia.org

  • Hitaishini
    CD, 54 Salt Lake, Sector 1, Kolkata - 700064.
    Ph. 98302 19414      Web. www.hitaishini.com

  • Indian Cancer Society
    6G, Lala Lajpat Ray Sarani, Elgin Road, Kolkata - 700020.
    Ph. (033) 22832426

  • ascAS
  • Sundaram Medical Foundation
    Dr Rangarajan Memorial Hospital, Shanthi Colony, 4th Avenue, Anna Nagar (W), Chennai - 600040.
    Ph. (044) 26284256 / (044) 24993515      Email. canstop@smfhospital.org

  • Lakshmi Pain and Palliative Care Clinic
    Sundaravadanan Nursing Home, 136, Poonamallee High Road, Chennai - 600084.
    Ph. (044) 26411597

  • ascAS
Nutrition
Support
Complete Organic Diet- Sahi diet
Sahi Tiffin comes from an oral cancer survivor Mr. Pankaj Gohil. He consulted EcoNutritionist Kavita Mukhi who planned his diet. The tiffin consists of comfort food cooked using forgotten super foods like Organic Millets, Non Refined, Unprocessed Whole foods & Vegetables. These are cooked in a manner to ensure that their nutritional value is not destroyed.

For Sahi Organic Comfort Lunches from Monday to Friday, please contact Pankaj Gohil on +91-9819865135.
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