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Breast Cancer Haven
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tests before paclitaxol and herceptin

what are the tests to be performed before and after every cycle of paclitaxol and herceptin

2 Replies

Hello , for the Herceptin heart scans as there is a small chance it can affect this. Paclitaxel I had blood tests , same as for any chemotherapy, to check cell counts, anaemia, liver function etc (not sure what else they check) once Paclitaxel was finished ,just heart scans every 3/4 months until you finish the Herceptin.



Herceptin is given to those of us with her2+ BC. Usually the first 4 rounds are given with the second chemo cycle and a heart scan is normal before you start and when you finish. Thereafter you would normally get 14 more injections into the legs at 3-weekly intervals. During that time a heart scan by law has to be given every three months.

My heart was adversely affected by the 4 doses during my second chemo cycle. However, it is quite rare and I had a lot of chemo at maximum strength. Whether you have heart damage risk is mainly luck, but also dependent on what other chemo drugs you have, at what strength and for how long. It looks like I had different drugs to you. I was put on heart meds and although it was a scary time they did work and my heart function recovered. I've now had 5 of the additional 14 injections and have another heart scan next week. If my function has decreased I shall not have another panic! I know that with medication and a break from herceptin the muscle can repair. Hopefully I won't face that, but I have realised that some setbacks are a part of cancer treatment for so many of us and we get through them. I wish you all the best, let me know if you have any other questions.


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