17 October 2006
New website sheds light on “aggressive”type of breast cancer
A new website created by Roche Products (New Zealand) Ltd providing information on a previously misunderstood, but
particularly aggressive form of breast cancer went live today. This website provides New Zealand women with a new
resource in the fight against the disease.
www.her2breastcancer.co.nz was launched as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and provides information for New
Zealand women about breast cancer and more specifically HER2 positive breast cancer.
Dr John Harman, a leading breast surgeon and director of St Mark’s Breast Centre, says: “The website is a welcome
addition to the spreading of knowledge about breast cancer so that women and their families can make informed choices
about their treatment options.”
“It also provides a valuable resource for breast cancer specialists,” he says.
It is natural for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer to want to find out as much information as they can about the
disease, its different types and the range of treatment options open to them.
Until recently information on HER2 positive breast cancer has been scarce and, because such information was developed
primarily for a medical audience it was relatively difficult for patients to access and understand.
Despite the high profile of the disease much about HER2 positive breast cancer remains unknown, and many patients
struggle to find information about the type of breast cancer they have been diagnosed with.
Approximately 25 per cent of breast cancers diagnosed are HER2 positive, yet, up until recently many New Zealanders were
unaware that there are different types of breast cancer, requiring different tests and different treatments.
Not all treatments are suitable for everyone and their effectiveness depends on the type and characteristics of the
cancer. Women must be tested at diagnosis to establish whether they are HER2 positive. This is vital to identify
suitable treatment options.
The website has been especially designed for women newly diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer. It includes
sections on understanding HER2 positive breast cancer, the importance of knowing your HER2 status and treatment for HER2
positive breast cancer.
The website also provides an explanation of cancer, breast cancer risk factors, early breast cancer, advanced breast
cancer and breast cancer treatments.