A Note About Statistics
Survival rates are statistics, and as such tend to tell us how the average person will do with an average triple-negative breast cancer but people and tumors arent statistics. Some people will do better and some people will do worse.
Very importantly, statistics are usually several years old. In order to calculate five-year survival rates, a person would have to have been diagnosed at least five years prior. And still there is lag time. The treatment of triple-negative breast cancer is changing, and new drugs have been approved.
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Questionable Issues In Tnbcs
TNBCs are known to metastasize via hematogenous routes and this may be in contradiction with the study of Liu previously mentioned, a study which clearly stated that TNBCs have an active lymphangiogenic process which, normally may favour lymphovascular but not hematogenous dissemination. Currently, the molecular features that differentiate or are able to differentiate lymph node positive TNBCs from lymph node negative TNBCs still remain at a hypothetical level and none of them proved to be useful in the clinical and therapeutic approach of TNBCs patients. But most of the TNBCs cancers have preferentially hematogenous metastases. Besides the high mitotic rate and increased nuclear grade, TNBCs also include pushing border of invasion, frequent tumor necrosis and a large central acellular zone . TNBCs usually exhibit a solid/sheet-like growth pattern and may be associated with an increased lymphocytes infiltrate . Despite the fact that these tumors do not usually metastasize through the lymphatic pathways, TNBCs may be characterized by lymphatic invasion and by an increased LVD . However, not all TNBCs are associated with a poor long term survival, although in a low percentage . EGFR, Src kinase pathway and Cdc42-interacting protein 4 are known to promote TNBCs metastasis . CIP4 inhibition seems to decrease the rate of lung metastasis .
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed
Since early breast cancer detection is the key to treating it and living a long and happy life, it is important that you proactively look for symptoms. The first step is to examine yourself regularly. You should self examine your breasts once every month.
Apart from that following methods are used by professionals to confirm cancer:
- Clinical breast examination to look for any changes in the breasts.
- Imaging tests like mammograms, ultrasound, and MRI to check for abnormalities.
- Biopsy wherein a sample of tissue is taken to confirm the presence of cancer cells.
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Diagnosing Triple Negative Breast Cancer
In many women the cancer is found during breast screening. But symptoms such as a breast lump can be a sign of breast cancer. So it is important to get any symptoms checked by your doctor.
If you have symptoms and see your GP they refer you to a specialist breast clinic. At the breast clinic the doctor or breast care nurse takes your medical history and examines your breasts. They also feel for any swollen lymph nodes under your arms and at the base of your neck.
You have some of the following tests:
- a mammogram
- an ultrasound
- a biopsy your doctor or nurse take a small sample of cells or tissue from your breast to look at under a microscope
Depending on your age and whether other family members have had breast cancer, your doctor might refer you for gene testing. This is to find out if there is a fault in the BRCA cancer gene.
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Why Is Breast Cancer So Deadly
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How Much Do Anastrozole And Exemestane Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Studies have shown that both anastrozole and exemestane can lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of the disease.
In one large study, taking anastrozole for five years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 53 percent. In another study, taking exemestane for three years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 65 percent.
The most common side effects seen with anastrazole and exemestane are joint pains, decreased bone density, and symptoms of menopause .
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2018.
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What Are The Risk Factors
Several factors can increase a mans chance of getting breast cancer. Having risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer.
- Getting older. The risk for breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers are found after age 50.
- Genetic mutations. Inherited changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, increase breast cancer risk.
- Family history of breast cancer. A mans risk for breast cancer is higher if a close family member has had breast cancer.
- Radiation therapy treatment. Men who had radiation therapy to the chest have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Hormone therapy treatment. Drugs containing estrogen , which were used to treat prostate cancer in the past, increase mens breast cancer risk.
- Klinefelter syndrome.Klinefelter syndromeexternal icon is a rare genetic condition in which a male has an extra X chromosome. This can lead to the body making higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of androgens .
- Conditions that affect the testicles. Injury to, swelling in, or surgery to remove the testicles can increase breast cancer risk.
- Liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver can lower androgen levels and raise estrogen levels in men, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
- Overweight and obesity. Older men who are overweight or have obesity have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than men at a normal weight.
Talk to your doctor about your familys history of cancer.
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Where Do These Numbers Come From
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the SEER* database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.
The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for breast cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:
- Localized: There is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast.
- Regional: The cancer has spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
- Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, liver or bones.
Survival Rates For Breast Cancer
Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.
Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Talk with your doctor about how these numbers may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with your situation.
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Breast Cancer Vaccine To Begin First
A first-of-its-kind breast cancer vaccine is set to begin phase I trials. The trial will be the first to test a vaccine against triple-negative breast cancer the most aggressive and deadly form of breast cancer in humans. Thats a whole lot of firsts, it’s no wonder the scientists behind it are so excited.
Long term, we are hoping that this can be a true preventive vaccine that would be administered to healthy women to prevent them from developing triple-negative breast cancer, the form of breast cancer for which we have the least effective treatments., Dr G. Thomas Budd, principal investigator of the study, said in a statement.
The Cleveland Clinic announced the trial on Tuesday, following the US Food and Drug Administrations approval of an investigational new drug application for the vaccine. Based on two decades worth of lab work and animal research, the world-first human trial will take place at Cleveland Clinics Lerner Research Institute and will initially include 18 to 24 early-stage triple-negative breast cancer survivors who are at high risk of recurrence. The researchers hope that, following the success of this first step, the vaccine could be trialed on healthy people at high risk for the disease, such as those with BRCA1 gene mutations.
But first, the trial aims to determine the maximum tolerated dose of the vaccine and define and optimize the bodys immune response to it.
Breast Cancer During Pregnancy: A Marked Propensity To Triple
- 1College of Medicine, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
- 2Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
Breast and cervical cancers comprise 50% of all cancers during pregnancy. In particular, gestational breast cancer is considered one of the most aggressive types of cancers, which is a rare but fatal disease. However, the incidence of this type of cancer is increasing over the years and its prevalence is expected to rise further as more women delay childbearing. Breast cancer occurring after pregnancy is generally triple negative with specific characterizations of a poorer prognosis and outcome. On the other hand, it has been pointed out that this cancer is associated with a specific group of genes which can be used as precise targets to manage this deadly disease. Indeed, combination therapies consisting of gene-based agents with other cancer therapeutics is presently under consideration. We herein review recent progress in understanding the development of breast cancer during pregnancy and their unique subtype of triple negative which is the hallmark of this type of breast cancer.
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About Metastatic Breast Cancer
Cancer begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control, forming a mass or sheet of cells called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread.When breast cancer is limited to the breast and/or nearby lymph node regions, it is called early stage or locally advanced. Read about these stages in a different guide on Cancer.Net. When breast cancer spreads to an area farther from where it started to another part of the body, doctors say that the cancer has metastasized. They call the area of spread a metastasis, or use the plural of metastases if the cancer has spread to more than 1 area. The disease is called metastatic breast cancer. Another name for metastatic breast cancer is stage IV breast cancer if it has already spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis of the original cancer.
Doctors may also call metastatic breast cancer advanced breast cancer. However, this term should not be confused with locally advanced breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body.
What Are The Survival Rates For Stage 3 Breast Cancer By Stage
Survival rates can be confusing. Remember that they dont reflect your individual circumstances.
The relative 5-year survival rate for stage 3 breast cancer is 86 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. This means that out of 100 people with stage 3 breast cancer, 86 will survive for 5 years.
But this figure doesnt consider breast cancer characteristics, like grade or subtype. It also doesnt distinguish between people with stage 3A, 3B, and 3C.
In comparison, the relative 5-year relative survival rate for stage 0 breast cancer is 100 percent. For stages 1 and 2, its 99 percent. For stage 4, the survival rate drops to 27 percent.
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What Is The Prognosis For Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Triple negative breast cancer can be more aggressive and difficult to treat. Also, the cancer is more likely to spread and recur. The stage of breast cancer and the grade of the tumor will influence your prognosis. Research is being done currently to create drug therapies that are specific for triple negative breast cancer.
Interested in learning more? i3Health is hosting an upcoming webinar Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Applying Treatment Advances to Personalized Care. Learn more here.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Breast Cancer
Environmental factors, genetic factors, or a combination of both can determine your breast cancer risk.
Environmental factors are-
- Inactive lifestyle Sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of breast cancer.
- Poor diet Diet high in saturated fat and low in fruits and vegetables is a risk of breast cancer.
- Being obese Beng overweight or obese is a risk of breast cancer.
- Drinking alcohol Frequent alcohol consumption increases your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Radiation to the chest Having radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 increases the risk of breast cancer.
Genetic factors are-
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What Does Stage 3 Mean
Because stage 3 breast cancer has spread outside the breast, it can be harder to treat than earlier stage breast cancer, though that depends on a few factors.
With aggressive treatment, stage 3 breast cancer is curable however, the risk that the cancer will grow back after treatment is high.
Doctors further divide stage 3 cancer into the following stages:
From Cured To Stage 4
Others, like Teri Pollastro, a 54-year-old stage 4 patient from Seattle, respond surprisingly well.
Diagnosed with early stage ductal carcinoma in situ in 1999, Pollastro underwent a mastectomy but did not receive chemotherapy, radiation or tamoxifen, since her cancer was ER negative.
âThey used the C-word with me, they told me I was cured,â she said. âEvery time I went back to my oncologist, he would roll his eyes at me when I had questions.â
In 2003, Pollastro switched to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where she saw Dr. Julie Gralow, a breast cancer oncologist and clinical researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Gralow discovered Pollastroâs cancer had metastasized to her liver.
âMy husband and I were in shock,â said Pollastro of her mets diagnosis. âYou donât go from being cured to stage 4.â
Pollastro went on Herceptin, a type of immunotherapy for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and did six months of chemotherapy.
âI felt better right away with the treatment,â she said. âBut the problem is, it stopped . Thatâs what you can expect with mets. And thereâs always some residual cancer. And that starts percolating.â
And along with mets, she also had to deal with many misconceptions regarding her disease.
The Mercer Island, Washington, mother of two, who often counsels newly diagnosed patients, sometimes even found it difficult to relate to early stage breast cancer survivors.
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What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer
The most common types of breast cancer are:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma. This cancer starts in the milk ducts of the breast. It then breaks through the wall of the duct and invades the surrounding tissue in the breast. This is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for 80% of cases.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ is ductal carcinoma in its earliest stage, or precancerous . In situ refers to the fact that the cancer hasnt spread beyond its point of origin. In this case, the disease is confined to the milk ducts and has not invaded nearby breast tissue. If untreated, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer. It is almost always curable.
- Infiltrating lobular carcinoma. This cancer begins in the lobules of the breast where breast milk is produced, but has spread to surrounding tissues in the breast. It accounts for 10 to 15% of breast cancers. This cancer can be more difficult to diagnose with mammograms.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ is a marker for cancer that is only in the lobules of the breast. It isnt a true cancer, but serves as a marker for the increased risk of developing breast cancer later, possibly in both or either breasts. Thus, it is important for women with lobular carcinoma in situ to have regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
Triple Negative Breast Cancer Meets Its Match
BBOX1 enzyme could serve as a drug target for the deadly subset of breast cancer
DALLAS July 22, 2020 One member of a larger family of oxygen sensing enzymes could offer a viable target for triple negative breast cancer , UTSW researchers report in a new study. The findings, published online this week in Cancer Discovery, might offer hope to this subset of patients who have few effective treatment options and often face a poor prognosis.
TNBC so called because it lacks estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and overexpression of the growth-promoting protein HER2 makes up only 15 to 20 percent of all breast cancers. However, explains Qing Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of pathology at UTSW and a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Scholar in Cancer Research, its the deadliest of all breast cancers, with a five-year survival rate of 77 percent compared with 93 percent for other types.
Unlike other cancers which are hormone receptor or HER2 positive, TNBC has no targeted treatments, so patients must rely only on surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, which are less effective than targeted treatments and can harm healthy tissue.
The opposite was also true: Overexpressing the gene for BBOX1 caused TNBC cell lines to wildly proliferate. Further investigation showed that it wasnt carnitine the enzymes end product that caused this effect. The enzyme itself appeared to be key for TNBC cells survival and growth.
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