Breast cancer – is the second most common cause of death due to cancers in patients and more often in female patients and out of this 20% of cases of breast cancer are HER2 breast cancers. Breast cancers are observed in both males and females but when compared to women, less than 1% of men are affected by this cancer. India by 2017 has become the third largest population of breast cancer patients and this number is on the rise. The complexity of the treatment of breast cancer with the use of radiotherapy and chemotherapy leads to multiple side effects. In this article, we will get to know what is HER2 and HER2 breast cancer, what causes it, what are its symptoms, what are its types, what is its diagnosis, and its treatment. There will also be an Ayurvedic concept and management of the same discussed in this article.

HER2 Breast Cancer

Introduction To HER2 Breast Cancer

HER2-positive breast cancers are a type of cancer that tested positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 protein which is found in almost 15-20% of breast cancers which means out of every 5 breast cancers 1 is HER2-positive breast cancer and these cancer cells have the gene HER2 that is responsible for the production of HER2 protein. HER2 cancers are very aggressive and invasive and spread faster to metastasize to other organs when compared to normal breast cancers. These cancers are also known to have high rates of recurrence therefore it is necessary to not avoid any lump or swelling being felt in breast tissue so that there is no delay in diagnosis and treatment. Before going further it is very important to study what is HER2.

What Is HER2?

Normally if we talk about the HER2 gene then this gene helps in the production of HER2 protein and HER2 receptors are found on all breast cell surfaces. This HER2 protein is responsible for the repair of damaged cells in the breast and also the growth of the breast. When HER2 mutates, this gets converted into a protein that is responsible for fastening the growth of cancer cells and can change them from just a cell to a tumour very quickly and it accounts for more than 15-20% of breast cancers. The breast cancers having these receptors are termed as HER2 positive. HER2 mutated genes are also very fast in creating copies of themselves which means the production of more protein and faster growth and spreading of a cancer. The testing process for these cancers includes immunohistochemistry tests and fluorescence in situ hybridization tests and this test is advised in all invasive carcinomas whether from biopsy or removed tumours. IHC 0 – 1+ is considered negative, IHC 2+ is considered equivocal, and IHC 3+ is considered HER2 positive. If breast cancer has 1+ to 2+ IHC and a negative FISH test then these cancers are also known as HER2 – low cancers.

Causes Of HER2 Breast Cancer

HER2 cancers are considered idiopathic but the doctors researching behind this claim have genetics, lifestyle, and environment as major role-playing factors. The following factors are of consideration in aetiology:-

  • Female gender
  • Family history
  • Breast cancer history
  • Early periods
  • Old age pregnancies
  • Hormonal therapies
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • History of radiation therapy exposure to the chest area
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Alcoholism
  • Substance abuse

A person having a family history of such cancers is 10 times more at risk of suffering from one.

Symptoms Of HER2 Breast Cancer

Symptoms of HER2 breast cancer are no different from those of normal breast cancer and are usually detected during a mammogram but for differentiating a thorough series of testing is required. The HER2 breast cancers present with the following symptoms –

  • Pain in the breast or nipples
  • Lump in or near breasts or in the underarm that can stay throughout the menstrual cycle
  • Clear or bloody nipple discharges
  • Creasing in breast
  • Changes in the shape or contour of  breasts
  • Swelling in the breast
  • Thickening/dimpling/puckering/scaling of the skin over the breast or nipples
  • Suspicious mammogram findings

Out of all breast cancers, about 20% are found to be HER2-positive. For a proper diagnosis of HER2 breast cancer, there are multiple tests required and the presence of signs and symptoms will not help in differentiating normal breast cancer from HER2 breast cancer.

Diagnosis Of Her2 Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is often felt in the form of a lump or skin changes that are noticed by the patient. The patient then visits the doctor and the doctor diagnoses the breast cancer based on the: –

  • Physical examination in which the lump is palpated and the structure and skin of the breast is examined,
  • Medical history of the patient in which all medications that the patient has consumed for a long time are asked for,
  • Lifestyle assessment which includes work profile information, food habits, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or any other kind of addiction,
  • Gynaecological history in the case of females includes the history of pregnancies, deliveries, abortions, miscarriages, menstrual cycle, hormonal therapies taken, contraceptives used, etc,
  • Imaging test for the presence of tumours and detection of the location using mammograms, and ultrasounds.

For a definitive diagnosis of HER2 breast cancers, the above procedures are not sufficient as they need a proper method of diagnosing like immunohistochemistry tests and fluorescence in situ hybridization or FISH tests. The following grades of IHC are used to stage HER2 breast cancer: –

  • IHC 0 – 1+ is considered negative
  • IHC 2+ is considered equivocal
  • IHC 3+ is considered HER2 positive
  • If breast cancer has 1+ to 2+ IHC and a negative FISH test then these cancers are also known as HER2 – low cancers.

Management Of Her2 Breast Cancer

Management of the breast cancer completely varies from patient to patient as well as the type of cancer present. Some patients require one method while others may require a combination of the methods below. The following methods as per modern medicine can be considered to treat a cancer patient: –

  • Hormonal therapies: – This is considered when the cause of the cancer is the influence of progesterone and oestrogen. This therapy helps in blocking the cancer cells from taking up the hormones that they need to grow.
  • Chemotherapy: – This involves the use of certain medications that help to kill the DNA of cancer cells and also help to prevent further growth of the cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given as per the properties of the target cells and can have an equal damaging effect on normal cells as it has on cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: This is taken up as a choice when some cells do not respond to the chemotherapy and the process uses high-energy X-rays to kill the cancer cells but this process runs a risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Surgery: – Surgeries are the last retort and are considered when the cancer cells have no hormonal influence and are not responding to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Variety procedures are there that can be considered like: –
    • Removal of the lump – Lumpectomy,
    • Partial removal of the breasts – Simple mastectomy, Segmental mastectomy, or Radical mastectomy,
  • Node biopsies: – These are done when there is a suspected spread to the lymph nodes.

Surgeries are often followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy and also breast reconstructive surgery in some patients. In some cases, patients can also opt for silicone or water-based implants to maintain the look of the body. These can be implanted at the time of mastectomy or during later periods as well.

Prevention Of Her2 Cancers

An individual is more likely to get HER2 breast cancer when there is the presence of a family history or if the disease is running in the genes but this cancer can be prevented by following proper preventive measures. The following actions can be taken so that there is no occurrence of HER2 breast cancers: –

  • Annual mammograms can be done for early detection and to assess the overall health of the breast tissues,
  • Self-examination of the breasts shall be done to detect lumps or nodules,
  • Limiting alcohol consumption or occasional consumption,
  • Complete absence from smoking,
  • Avoiding hormonal treatment if possible,
  • Managing the weight,
  • Having a properly balanced diet with the consumption of nuts and olive oil.

Ayurvedic Concept Of Her2 Breast Cancer

Each cell is known to have DNA that decides the Prakriti of a person and this when transferred to a new offspring can have some mistakes made which are termed as mutations. One such mutation is seen when the HER2 protein mutates and starts tumour formation instead of the normal growth of breast cells which in Ayurveda is considered due to vitiation of doshas and that too mainly vata and pitta dosha. Apart from doshas Ayurveda also considers diet and lifestyle as one of the major reasons for the formation of cancers and this disturbance in diet and lifestyle leads to disturbed agni or the digestive power which in turn vitiates all the dosha and thus forms the cancers. Ayurveda says that cancer can be prevented if the person is following a proper diet rich with chemopreventive agents that keep the cancer formation away and have a proper exercise schedule which leads to a good balance of dosha and normal digestion. Ayurvedic management of cancer involves multiple herbs that have a holistic approach to the patient and help to control the further damage by the cancer cells. The nano Ayurvedic medicine with nanoparticles that absorbs better in the body goes to the root of the cause and helps in managing the condition without any side effects. Moreover the consumption of herbal medications can also help to get rid of post-chemotherapy or radiotherapy side effects.

Planet Ayurveda’s Natural Solutions For Her2 Breast Cancer

Ayurvedic medications can help in better outcomes in cancer patients if given at the right doses as they work with chemotherapy drugs to provide better life expectancy for HER2 breast cancer patients. These medications can also be considered for the patient who is unable to bear chemotherapy.

Planet Ayurveda is an Ayurvedic clinic in Punjab and a manufacturer of Ayurvedic medications certified by ISO. The medications are formed strictly based on the principles of Ayurveda mentioned in ancient texts and lots of research work. They are prepared under the strict guidance of MD Ayurveda experts.

Planet Ayurveda has formulated an Ayurvedic pack for the patients of HER2 breast cancers  – The Crab Care Pack, that can both act as an alternative medication for cancer patients and can help in improving the life quality of breast cancer patients as well. This pack includes: –

Natural Solution For Her2 Breast Cancer

1. Kanchnaar guggul

Kanchnaar guggul is a wonderful remedy that is manufactured in the form of tablets that contain the purest extracts of various herbs that have been used to treat cancers (benign and malignant) since ancient times. It is formulated with Kachnar bark (Bauhinia Variegata), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica) etc. It is rich in cytotoxic properties like free radical scavengers, polyphenols, and alkaloids which help in regulating the division of cells and slow down the rate of proliferation of the same as well. It also blocks the inflammatory pathways and stops the release of cancer factors. Apart from all of this, Kanchnaar guggul also helps to get rid of kapha accumulation that might lead to cysts or tumours formations.

Dosage: – 2 tablets after meals, thrice a day with lukewarm water.

2. Curcumin Capsules

Curcumin capsules contain the purest extracts of Haridra (Curcuma longa) and are prescribed to breast cancer patients. Curcumin capsules are the richest and purest source of Haridra (Curcuma longa) extracts that are known to balance out all three doshas and strengthen immunity. It also helps to decrease swelling and inflammation in the affected areas. Curcumin also inhibits cancer cell replication and proliferation.

Dosage: – 2 capsules after meals, twice a day with lukewarm water.

3. Ashwagandha Capsules

Ashwagandha capsules contain the standardised extracts of Ashwagandha or Winter cherry that have multiple benefits for breast cancer patients. Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is known to have an effect in the case of breast cancers, especially PR and ER-positive breast cancers. It also helps to improve the quality of life and reduce fatigue in breast cancer patients. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the symptoms of cancer.

Dosage: – 2 capsules after meals, twice a day with lukewarm water.

4. Tulsi Capsules

Tulsi capsules are prepared with standardised extracts of Ocimum tenuiflorum also known as Holy basil is called in Ayurveda an ‘Elixir of life’ as it has many medicinal properties helping breast cancer. Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is known to have a protective effect on organs and cells against stress and damage. Tulsi in the case of breast cancer can prevent metastasis and stop tumor growth.  Tulsi is also known to improve overall health by boosting the immunity and body’s ability to fight diseases.

Dosage: – 2 capsules after meals, twice a day with lukewarm water.

5. Chandraprabha vati

This is an ancient remedy manufactured by Planet Ayurveda in the form of tablets that is mentioned in old Ayurvedic texts and has the following properties helpful for breast cancer. It is composed of 37 herbal ingredients like Shilajit (Asphaltum), Guggul (Commiphora mukul), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Vidanga (Embelia ribes), and many more. The term Chadraprabha in Sanskrit is split into two – Chandra which means moon and Prabha which means glow Therefore, this medication improves overall health including body functioning, and provides a natural moon-like glow to the face.

Dosage: – 2 tablets after meals, twice a day with lukewarm water

6. Guggul Capsules

Guggul capsules at Planet Ayurveda are prepared from standardised extracts of the purest gum resin or oily sap extracted from the Commiphora mukul tree and are known to have the following benefits for breast cancer. These extracts are considered to be rich in guggulsterone which is known to act like oestrogen and down regulate the expression of Progesterone receptors and Oestrogen Receptors found in various breast cancers. Guggul is also known to promote the good health of cells and maintain a good structure and function of cells. Being rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties it also helps to prevent diseases and fight pain and debility due to conditions.

Dosage: – 2 capsules after meals, twice a day with lukewarm water.


HER2 breast cancers are the most aggressive kind of breast cancer and are very easy to reoccur as well. The incidence is on the rise in developed and developing countries, with females being affected more. A lot of work is going on in the research behind knowing the exact cause of this cancer and along with that a lot of advancements have also been made for a timely and a proper diagnosis with an effective treatment. Ayurveda has a wide concept of this cancer and is known to treat the root cause of this disease which leads to better life expectancy of the patient. Planet Ayurveda is a known herbal medication company providing the best Ayurvedic treatment to people across the globe that can help in managing breast cancer and improving the life quality of cancer patients without any side effects.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.