Herceptin has given Joyce Rasdall a second chance at life.
"It's a wonderful drug to have available."
Rasdall was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. Her doctor told her she was lucky they caught it when they did because it was an aggressive form and she was already in Stage IV.
"I have been taking Herceptin since February 8th every Tuesday except when I had the surgeries."
Oncologists say the drug is altering the way they treat breast cancer. Patients are given the drug intravenously. Rasdall is given Herceptin simultaneously with her chemotherapy sessions and it has greatly improved her odds at beating the disease.
"It helps to reduce the chances of cancer coming back. The cancer I have is likely recurring and a fast growing cancer. But Herceptin reduces the likelihood of it coming back."
Rasdall says her doctor told her he is surprised she has made it this far. Now she wants other women going through breast cancer to see how effective Herceptin has been in her treatment. She gives it some of the credit for saving her life.
"Partially that and God. I think there are a lot of powerful things in this world and God is one of them. But Herceptin has enhanced my chances." Rasdall says she is looking forward to the future.
She is cutting back on her treatments of Herceptin. While there is no guarantee she will remain cancer-free, the drug greatly increases her odds of survival and decreases the odds of recurrence.