MIAMI (CBS4) — Getting a breast cancer diagnosis is heartbreaking for the patient and her family. But finding out that breast cancer is especially aggressive just adds to the stress. In today’s Komen for the Cure, one South Florida is getting an alternative treatment that works on her particular cancer.
Raquel McLean has no family history of breast cancer, and always got her annual mammograms.READ MORE: Coral Gables Man Refuses To Sell Family House Swallowed By Massive Development
But after her last regular mammogram in the fall of 2009, something strange happened.
“A couple months after that I feel like swelling, inflamed and pain in my right breast.”
She had inflammatory breast cancer.
“The inflammatory breast cancer by definition is a highly aggressive cancer. Raquel was devastated,” said Dr. Carmen Calfa, a breast oncologist at Memorial Regional Hospital.
Then she and her husband got the news her cancer was the aggressive HER2 positive.
Dr. Calfa suggested the Cleopatra clinical trial.
“Because the alternative, it’s going to keep the conventional as the backbone and will only try to improve on that conventional.”
So Raquel got chemotherapy combined with Herceptin, a drug already widely used.READ MORE: COVID-19 Kills Another 290 Floridians
But since Cleopatra is a clinical trial, patients like Raquel might also get a drug called Pertuzumab, which could slow down the growth of her cancer.
Raquel said she feels pretty good right now thanks to her family’s support.
Her husband, Scott, even got a tattoo that reminds them both to keep faith and hope alive.
“Eight months from now it will be done. It will be cured and I’ll be free,” said Raquel.
Dr. Calfa tells us Raquel will be on some kind of drug combination for the rest of her life, but they hope to keep finding combinations of drugs that will work to put her cancer in remission.
To find out more information about clinical trials or about her 2 positive breast cancer, just visit:COVID Flexibilities Eliminated For Medicaid