Sunday, November 27, 2022
HomeMust ReadHow To Survive Triple Negative Breast Cancer

How To Survive Triple Negative Breast Cancer

A Note About Statistics

How a triple-negative breast cancer survivor became cancer-free

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 aren’t 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.

Stages Of Breast Cancer

The stage of breast cancer is based on the size and location of the tumor, as well as whether the cancer has spread beyond the part of the breast in which it originated. To determine the stage of breast cancer, healthcare professionals use a scale of stage 0 to stage 4.

Stage 0 breast cancers are isolated in one part of the breast, such as a duct or lobule, and show no sign of spreading into other tissue.

Stage 1 is typically localized, although further local growth or spread may cause the cancer to move into stage 2.

In stage 3, the cancer may be larger and has affected the lymph system. Stage 4 cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes, and into other organs and tissues of the body.

In addition to stages, breast cancers are given grades based on the size, shape, and activity of the cells in the tumor. A higher-grade cancer means a greater percentage of cells look and act abnormal, or they no longer resemble normal, healthy cells.

On a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being the most serious, TNBC is often labeled grade 3.

Oncogene Expression May Negatively Impact Breast Cancer Results

A comparatively new addition to the discussion of prognosis and breast cancer survival data is oncogene expression. An oncogene is a small fragment of genetic material which can causeâ ordinary cells to eventually become malignant, and which can be carried on a chromosome. The oncogene HER-2 in particular is linked to aggressive breast cancers. On average, women with HER-2 amplification get a substantially greater danger of dying within a couple of years from breast cancer, in comparison to girls without HER-2 amplification.

Thats some reviews about How Fast does triple negative cancer grow. From the above article you dont need to completely trust. Because if we keep a healthy life pattern so cancer can get away from ourselves. For information about other cancer diseases you can look it up on this website.

You May Like: Did Anne Hathaway Have Cancer

Brca1 Inherited Gene Mutations And Tnbc

Most breast cancers related to a BRCA1 inherited gene mutation are both triple negative and basal-like .

TNBC may also be related to a BRCA2 inherited gene mutation .

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends people diagnosed with TNBC at age 60 or younger get genetic testing .

Learn more about genetic testing.

New Medications For Metastatic Breast Cancer

Figure 3 from Outcomes of Triple

The immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors have led to a significant improvement in survival rates for lung cancer and melanoma. In March of 2019 the first immunotherapy drug, Tecentriq was approved for triple-negative breast cancer that is metastatic . As noted above, there are at least a few people who have had excellent responses in clinical trials prior to approval.

PARP inhibitors are also a class of medications that may alter survival rates in the future, particularly among women who have hereditary breast cancer .

For bone metastases, bone-modifying drugs may be effective in treating both metastases, and may reduce the development of further metastases in bone.

Finally, for people who have only a single or a few metastases , treating these metastases locally may be an option. While studies are young, treating oligometastases may improve survival or even lead to long term survival for a minority of people.

In addition, for some people treated with immunotherapy, local radiation may sometimes improve the response of immunotherapy, something known as the abscopal effect. Since immunotherapy is such a recent addition to breast cancer, it’s not known how common this response may be or if it will be seen at all.

Don’t Miss: What Are The Chances Of Getting Breast Cancer Twice

What Makes It Triple

Triple-negative refers to the fact that this type of breast cancer is not fueled by certain substances such as hormones or growth proteins in the body.

Estrogen and progesterone receptors are found in some types of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer doesnt show hormone receptors on the cancer cells and most likely wont respond to breast cancer treatments using hormone blockers to slow the growth of cancer cells like many other types of breast cancer.

Another feature important for classifying breast cancer is the presence of the HER2 protein. Healthy cells have some HER2, but about 20% of breast cancer diagnoses have an excess of this protein, signaling the cells to grow and divide rapidly. Cancers that test positive for an excess of HER2 protein may be effectively treated using targeted therapies that disrupt the function and growth of HER2. Triple-negative cancer patients do not have a significant amount of HER2 protein fueling the cancer.

Treatment For Triple Negative Breast Cancer

The main treatments for triple negative breast cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The treatment you need depends on:

  • where the cancer is

You might have surgery to remove:

  • an area of the breast
  • the whole breast

When you have your surgery, the surgeon usually takes out some of the lymph nodes under your arm. They test these nodes to see if they contain cancer cells. The surgeon might check the lymph nodes closest to the breast using a procedure called sentinel lymph node biopsy. Testing the lymph nodes helps to find the stage of the cancer and decide on further treatment.

After breast conserving surgery you usually have radiotherapy to the rest of the breast tissue.

You May Like: What Stage Is Metastatic Breast Cancer

Risk Factors For Triple

Doctors aren’t sure what makes you more likely to get triple-negative breast cancer. Not many women do — it only affects up to 20% of those who have breast cancer. You’re most at risk for triple-negative breast cancer if you:

  • Are African-American or Latina
  • Are under 40
  • Have what your doctor will call a BRCA mutation , especially the gene BRCA1

Chiara: How I Survived Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Gina Fitzsimmons

Looking for more information about triple negative breast cancer?

I found the lump on my birthday, October 25th, 2014. It wasn’t a happy 43rd. August 2014 I had my routine mammogram and a week later the letter from the hospital arrived everything was “normal.” Apparently, I have dense tissue in my breasts so the mammogram didn’t detect the lump. As soon as I felt it, I knew the mass didn’t belong in my body fear enveloped me.

A mammogram, an ultrasound, an MRI, a chest and abdomen CT scan, a bone scan and a few biopsies later, I received the diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer, stage three. Triple negative means my cancer is not fueled by any hormones: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 it is fast growing and has a higher percentage of reoccurring in other parts of my body.

The thread throughout my cancer diagnosis was fear. It gripped me tightly in its hands and whirled me around until I was dizzy and exhausted. I felt alone in my terror friends and family would try and ease the pain by saying “There’s a cure!” “Breast cancer is the best kind of cancer to have!” and “You’ll be fine, my sister/cousin/hairdresser had it and she survived!” I politely nodded my head, thinking to myself, “You’re not God, you don’t know if I will be that small percentage of women that die from breast cancer it happens!” I was being realistic. I wanted my fear to be acknowledged I longed to be heard, and held, not patronized.

You May Like: Baking Soda And Breast Cancer

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.

What Has Been The Standard Protocol For Treating Triple

The standard protocol to treat early-stage triple-negative breast cancer confined to the breast and axillary lymph nodes is chemotherapy and surgery. Often chemotherapy is administered before surgery. At present there are no further treatment options for early-stage triple-negative breast cancer beyond close follow-up care with regular physical exams and mammograms.

There are, however, innovative approaches currently under study, including the addition of targeted therapy to this chemotherapy backbone.

For advanced triple-negative breast cancer, the current standard approach is to treat with various chemotherapy regimens. The most recent breakthrough in the treatment of such tumors is the success story of PARP inhibitors. Short for poly polymerase, PARP is an enzyme that is required for cells to repair the DNA damage induced by any form of injury . Unfortunately, the cancer cells also use this enzyme to correct the damage induced by chemotherapy, making that treatment less effective. Now researchers have shown that by including a drug that inhibits the PARP enzyme along with chemotherapy, they can cause more damage to triple-negative breast cancers than when chemotherapy is delivered alone.

Several clinical trials are currently under way at various centers, using different PARP inhibitors with different chemotherapy in triple-negative and genetically inherited breast cancers.

Read Also: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Survival Rates For Triple

Triple-negative breast cancer is considered an aggressive cancer because it grows quickly, is more likely to have spread at the time its found and is more likely to come back after treatment than other types of breast cancer. The outlook is generally not as good as it is for other types of 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.

Where Do These Numbers Come From

Triple Negative Breast Cancer, " I Won

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.

Don’t Miss: Can Asbestos Cause Breast Cancer

Ridingthe Cancer Conveyor Belt

“I know my chances aren’t great with this lovely combo so, for me, quality of life is paramount. Before I do any treatment, I need to know that it is likely to have a meaningful result on my survival chances. I feel like I’m on a conveyor belt and I am the only check and balance in this system.”Read IntegraGirl’s story.

What Tests And Exams Diagnose Triple

The diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer requires a sampling of tissue from the breast, known as a breast biopsy. Medical professionals may perform the biopsy using imaging techniques, such as mammography or others, for guidance. If the biopsy shows cancer, they may perform other tests on the biopsy sample to determine the precise type of cancer. In particular, they commonly perform tests for expression of the estrogen receptor , progesterone receptor , and HER2 protein as a first step. If these tests are all negative, they classify the cancer as triple-negative breast cancer.

You May Like: Is Weight Gain A Symptom Of Breast Cancer

Variable And Outcome Definitions

The database was used to gather information regarding patient demographics , cancer stage , tumour characteristics , type of therapy , dosing and administration details of chemotherapy, and pathologic and clinical outcomes. Clinical outcomes included local recurrence, distant recurrence, breast cancer-related death, non-breast cancer-related death, and death from unspecified cause. These clinical end points were translated to the outcomes of interest on the basis of the STEEP criteria. Recurrence-free interval was measured from the date of diagnosis of primary cancer to the date of first invasive ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence, local or regional invasive recurrence, distant recurrence, or death documented because of breast cancer. Recurrence-free survival was measured from the date of diagnosis of primary cancer to the date of the first invasive ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence, local or regional invasive recurrence, distant recurrence, or death from any cause. Distant relapse-free survival was measured from the date of diagnosis of primary cancer to the date of first distant recurrence or death from any cause . Patients were censored at the date of their last follow-up for those who did not have an event.

Statistics Don’t Account For Late Recurrences

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor: Robin Roberts

When comparing triple-negative breast cancer to positive tumors, it’s important to keep in mind late recurrences. Most statistics are presented as five-year survival rate, and in this setting, triple-negative breast cancer can look more ominous. But looking at longer periods of time, say 20 years following diagnosis, this may be different.

You May Like: Can Stage 1 Breast Cancer Be Cured

Age Affects Survival Rates

In terms of âageâ that is, this is an interesting fact the survival rates are in fact lower for girls younger than 40 than for girls older than 40. Breast cancer in younger women often grow rather vigorously, as well as the survival rate for younger girls is really about 7% less than for mature girls total.

You Can Survive Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Written by Patricia Prijatel on her blog, Positives About Negative, and posted on April 11, 2011.

Triple-negative breast cancer has caught the attention of major researchers throughout the world, which is a great thingit means that we are learning more and more about how to prevent and treat this illness. The downside of the research popularity is that the media and medical journals have developed depressing and frightening catch phrases for it, such as deadly, particularly aggressive or, my favorite, alethal triad. People who write these words do not realize that they can terrify the women who read them, hitting like a heavy thud on our hearts. Researchers are trying to define the disease. Patients are trying to beat it.

The aggressive nature of hormone-negative is a comparative measure. That is, these cancers are, in general, more aggressive than hormone-positive cancersalthough, in some cases, only slightly more aggressive. And some hormone-negative cancers can actually be less aggressive than some hormone-positive cancers. Scientists work in generalizations, defining how the disease affects women as a group. Individual cases vary and, researchers increasingly say, are as unique as our DNA.

So lets look at some of the data and what they mean. And rather than simply accepting the gloomy picture that is often presented, lets approach this in the enterprising spirit of yeah, but.

NOTE: This is an excerpt from the book I am writing on triple-negative breast cancer.

Read Also: Do You Gain Weight With Breast Cancer

What Is The Survival Rate For Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Survival rates are a way to discuss the prognosis and outlook of a cancer diagnosis. The number most frequently mentioned is 5-year survival. Many patients live much longer, and some die earlier from causes other than breast cancer. With a constant change and improvement in therapies, these numbers also change. Current 5-year survival statistics are based on patients who were diagnosed at least 5 years ago and may have received different therapies than are available today.

Below are the statistics from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database for survival of all patients with breast cancer, by tumor stage:

Stage
IV 22%

Symptoms Of Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Team targets tumor suppressor to treat

The symptoms of triple negative breast cancer are similar to other breast cancer types.

Symptoms can include:

  • a new lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • a change in size, shape or feel of your breast
  • skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
  • fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isnt pregnant or breast feeding
  • changes in the position of nipple

Make an appointment to see your GP if you notice anything different or unusual about the look and feel of your breasts.

Also Check: Did Anne Hathaway Have Breast Cancer

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles