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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



HER2 positive  listen  (… PAH-zih-tiv)

  Describes cancer cells that have too much of a protein called HER2 on their surface. In normal cells, HER2 helps to control cell growth. When it is made in larger than normal amounts by cancer cells, the cells may grow more quickly and be more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Checking to see if a cancer is HER2 positive may help plan treatment, which may include drugs that kill HER2 positive cancer cells. Cancers that may be HER2 positive include breast, bladder, pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancers. Also called c-erbB-2 positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive.