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The FDA-Approved Treatment against Breast Cancer Recurrence

Breast cancer, in its metastases stage, is an incurable disease with a survival rate of approximately 5-10% within five years. The mortality rate is likely to be at 40,610. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 15% of breast cancer patients have tumors that are HER2-positive. HER2 positive tumors are aggressive and can spread to other parts of the body.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the new treatment for early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer. The drug, Nerlynx (neratinib), is an extended adjuvant therapy taken after the initial treatment to lower the risk of cancer recurring. Nerlynx is meant for adult patients who have previously undergone treatment with a regimen using the drug trastuzumab.

Here are facts about Nerlynx:

• Nerlynx is a kinase inhibitor, and it works by blocking the enzymes that promote cell growth. Its safety and efficacy were confirmed from a study through a trial of 2840 patients two years ago. It was found out that 94.2% of the patients who used Nerlynx did not experience recurrence compared to the 91.9% who received placebo.

• The common side effects of using Nerlynx include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, stomatitis, rash, low appetite, dyspepsia, muscle spasms, liver damage, distention, nail disorder, weight loss, dry skin, and urinary tract infection.

• To help manage diarrhea, patients are given loperamide within the first 56 days of treatment with Nerlynx. Patients who experience severe side effects and pregnant women or lactating mothers should stop taking the drug

Breast cancer can recur or not, but most recurrences come during the first five years after treatment. It can come back as a local recurrence where it appears near the mastectomy scar or in the treated breast, or anywhere in the body. One should keep checking the treated area or doing self-exams and inform the doctor of any changes.

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