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How Quickly Does Triple Negative Breast Cancer Grow

Determining Risk Of Recurrence In Triple

Delaying Chemo Linked to Worse Outcomes for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

A personalized prognosis for patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer was the goal of a new study by Katherine Varley, PhD, researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Twenty percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States will learn they have triple-negative breast cancer. That diagnosis means the three most common proteins known to fuel breast cancer growthestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2are not present in the tumor. Those patients will not respond to any of the targeted therapies developed to treat breast cancer with those characteristics. After surgery, their only treatment option is chemotherapy. Targeted therapy allows healthy cells to survive, but chemotherapy can kill normal cells when eliminating the cancer cells.

Varley worked closely on the study with Rachel Stewart, DO, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Kentucky. They used specimens from patients treated at HCI. The tumor samples were taken more than five years ago, so the researchers could determine how each patient fared in the long term. The next step was developing a way to test for biomarkers of the immune response. The biomarker test was developed using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. This is important because it means this test can be run on tumor biopsy specimens that are routinely collected for breast cancer diagnosis. ;

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How Life Expectancy And Relapse Differ From Positive Tumors

Questions about the survival rate and recurrence rate are very common when someone is diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer . While prognosis is, on average, poorer than with hormone receptor or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive tumors, triple-negative breast cancer is a very heterogeneous disease. On a positive note, and unlike hormone-positive tumors that commonly recur late , late recurrence is less common with triple-negative tumors. The recent approval of immunotherapy only for triple-negative disease is also optimistic.

We will look at factors that may affect survival or recurrence as well as the statistical rates of both. We will also look at life expectancy with stage 4 triple-negative breast cancers and recent case reports of a few long-time survivors.

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How Is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Different From Other Diagnoses

No one could blame you for having a mountain of questions after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. That list might be even longer if you receive a diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer: What exactly does that mean? How is triple negative breast cancer different from other diagnoses? And how can you make life easier on yourself if you have this illness? Here, breast cancer experts answer these and other questions.

Build An Emergency Fund

Triple Negative Cancer â? Healing Cancer with Alternative ...

I started keeping a stash of cash on the ready over 20 years ago. Building this fund has served me well and has helped me weather too many storms over the years. I started my emergency fund by making an automatic contribution of $10 to a high-interest savings account every paycheque with my first-ever job. I increased that amount, again making it an automated contribution from my checking account to a high interest savings account, as I got raises and got better at budgeting.

The automation is KEY because it removes the temptation and mental friction from having to make that choice to save and move the money twice a month. By making the saving process automatic I forgot the process was in place and the automation prevented the mental load of doing the thinking work to save. I didnt have to remake the choice every month the banking system did it for me.

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How Common Is Triple

About 10 to 20% of breast cancers are found to be triple-negative. However, triple-negative cancer cells are found more often in people under the age of 50. This is about 10 years younger than the average age of 60 or older for other types of breast cancer diagnoses. Triple-negative breast cancer is also found in higher percentages of Black and Hispanic patients and less often in Asian and non-Hispanic patients.;

Another population that is more likely to be diagnosed with this type of breast cancer has an inherited mutation of the BRCA gene. About 70% of those with triple-negative breast cancer also test positive for having the BRCA mutation. You may qualify for genetic testing based on your family history.;Learn more about genetic testing for breast cancer.;

Reducing Your Risk Of Triple

Its difficult to reduce your risk of triple-negative breast cancer because you cant control your age or your race. However, women who test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations may want to consider preventive mastectomy. It can reduce the risk of breast cancer in these women by about 97%. But it isnt an easy decision. There are many things to consider before moving forward with surgery. During genetic testing for breast cancer, you will explore the risks and benefits to help you decide if its right for you.

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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 Is The Prognosis For Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Sub-types – 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.

Material on this page courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine

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Factors Associated With More Rapid Spread

Some types of breast cancer, as well as molecular subtypes, are more likely to spread and spread earlier than other types. Ductal carcinoma is more likely to spread than lobular carcinoma, among tumors that are the same size and stage.

While many breast cancers do not spread to lymph nodes until the tumor is at least 2 cm to 3 cm in diameter, some types may spread very early, even when a tumor is less than 1 cm in size.

Causes Of Triple Negative Breast Cancer

The risk factors for triple negative breast cancer are not clear. Some breast cancers depend on hormones to grow. These can be linked with risk factors to do with hormones and having children. But triple negative breast cancer does not seem to share these risk factors.

Most women with triple negative breast cancer have no strong history of breast cancer in their family . But some women with triple negative breast cancer have an altered BRCA1 gene. This will have been inherited from a parent.

An altered BRCA 1 gene can cause breast cancer to run in families. Most breast cancers caused by BRCA1 are triple negative.

If you have triple negative breast cancer, you may be offered genetic testing. This is even if you do not have a family history of breast cancer. Your cancer doctor or breast care nurse can explain more about this to you.

The tests are the same as for any type of breast cancer. You usually have a:

  • Mammogram

    A mammogram;is an x-ray of the breast.

  • Ultrasound scan

    An ultrasound scan uses sound waves to produce a picture of the breast tissue and the lymph nodes in the armpit.

  • Breast biopsy

    When you have a breast biopsy, your cancer doctor or breast care nurse takes small samples of cells or tissue from your breast. The samples are looked at under a microscope to check for cancer cells. They also do other tests to find out if the cells have receptors for hormones, or for HER2.

See also

The staging and grading;is the same as for other types of breast cancer.

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What Is Triple Negative Breast Cancer

TNBC is:

  • Progesterone receptor-negative
  • HER2-negative

Triple negative/basal-like tumors are a molecular subtype of breast cancer. Basal-like tumors have cells that look similar to those of the outer cells surrounding the mammary ducts.

Most triple negative tumors are basal-like .

About 10-20 percent of all breast cancers are TNBC or basal-like tumors .

These tumors tend to occur more often in :

  • Younger women
  • Black, non-Hispanic Black and African American women

TNBC may also be more common among Hispanic women compared to white and non-Hispanic white women .

How Fast Can Breast Cancer Spread

Triple âNegative Breast Cancer

Metastasis occurs when breast cancer cells begin to grow in another body part.

It is hard to say exactly how quickly breast cancer can grow, including the timeframe, as the disease affects each person differently.

Cancer occurs due to mutations in human cells. Mutations do not follow normal, predictable patterns of cell division, so it is difficult to predict the progression.

Tumors appear when damaged cells replicate over and over to form a clump of abnormal cells. Breast cancer cells can break off and move through the lymph or blood vessels to other areas of the body.

If breast cancer cells begin to grow in another body part, this is called metastasis. Breast cancer is most likely to metastasize to the lymph nodes, lungs, and bones.

Regardless of the location of the new tumor, doctors still consider it to be breast cancer.

Breast cancer growth and its chances of spreading depend on the following:

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How Is Triple

Once a breast cancer diagnosis has been made using imaging tests and a biopsy, the cancer cells will be checked for certain features. If the cells do not have estrogen or progesterone receptors, and also do not make too much of the HER2 protein, the cancer is considered to be triple-negative breast cancer.

What Is A 5

A relative survival rate compares women with the same type and stage of breast cancer to women in the overall population. For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of breast cancer is 90%, it means that women who have that cancer are, on average, about 90% as likely as women who dont have that cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.

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How To Starve Triple Negative Breast Cancer

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Researchers have developed a strategy that slows the growth of triple negative breast cancer cells by cutting them off from two major food sources.

A team of Brazilian researchers has developed a strategy that slows the growth of triple negative breast cancer cells by cutting them off from two major food sources.

Triple-negative breast cancer, or TNBC, makes up approximately 15% to 20% of all breast cancers and is most common in African American women. These tumors lack estrogen and progesterone receptors and HER2 protein which are present in other breast cancers and permit certain targeted therapies. And because every TNBC tumor has a different genetic makeup, finding new markers that could guide treatment has been a difficult task.

“There is intense interest in finding new medications that can treat this kind of breast cancer,” said Sandra Martha Gomes Dias, a cancer researcher at the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory in Campinas, Brazil. “TNBC is considered to be more aggressive and have a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer, mainly because there are fewer targeted medicines that treat TNBC.”

To see if alterations in gene expression could explain how these cells survive, the authors of the study exposed TNBC cells to CB-839, defined those that were resistant and those that were sensitive to the drug, and sequenced their RNA, Dias said.

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Looking For More Of An Introduction

Triple Negative Breast Cancer: What you need to know

If you would like more of an introduction, explore these related items. Please note that these links will take you to other sections on Cancer.Net:

  • ASCO AnswersFact Sheet: Read a 1-page fact sheet that offers an introduction to metastatic breast cancer. This free fact sheet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
  • ASCO AnswersGuide:Get this free 52-page booklet that helps you better understand breast cancer. The booklet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
  • Cancer.Net Patient Education Video: View a short video led by an ASCO expert in metastatic breast cancer that provides basic information and areas of research.

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Treatment Options For Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Since triple negative breast cancer doesnt respond to targeted treatments used for other types of breast cancer, it raises complicated questions about treatment.

For now, experts typically rely on removing as much of the tumor as possible in addition to chemotherapy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Experts are testing immunotherapy options that may attack triple negative breast cancer tumors as well. Ongoing research could lead to new targeted treatments for triple negative breast cancer, Dr. Nanda says. If youre interested in learning more, you might consider speaking to your doctor about participating in a clinical trial, Dr. Mayer says.

No matter the treatment strategy that you and your doctor decide is best, self-care is an essentialand easy to overlookpart of dealing with triple negative breast cancer. Heres how four women with this condition practice self-care. They may give you a few ideas for coping, too.


Survival Rate For Patients With Triple

Triple-negative breast cancer is considered aggressive, or fast-growing, but it is treatable. Survival depends on factors such as how advanced the cancer was at diagnosis, your overall health, and your response to treatment.;

When assessing survival, researchers use a 5-year marker to make predictions about if cancer will reoccur.;

According to the American Cancer Society, if any type of breast cancer is found to be stage 1, the 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%. Stage 2 breast cancer survival is about 93%, stage 3 is 72%, and metastasized or grade 4 breast cancer has about a 22% chance of survival. Keep in mind; most triple-negative breast cancers are stage 3 when found.

Its important to note that the survival rates may be higher than this data suggests because new treatments are becoming available through clinical research.;

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Factors That Affect Growth Rate

A number of different studies have demonstrated some of the factors that influence the rate of growth of a breast cancer. These include:

  • The type of cancer: Inflammatory breast cancer tends to grow much more rapidly than other types of breast cancer
  • Age at diagnosis: Breast cancers in young women tend to grow more rapidly than breast cancers in older women and have a higher tumor grade
  • Menopausal state: Breast tumors often grow more rapidly for women who are premenopausal than for those who are postmenopausal, likely due to estrogen in the body.
  • Receptor status: Triple negative cancers, in general, grow more rapidly than estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Triple positive tumors also grow more rapidly.
  • Estrogen treatment: Women who used hormone replacement therapy after menopause had, in general, more rapid growth rate of breast tumors.
  • Ki-67 index: A higher index means a faster doubling time.
  • Tumor grade: A higher tumor grade indicates a faster doubling time.


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