What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You will have lots of questions about your cancer, starting with your diagnosis. Here are some basic questions you might ask:
- What is triple negative breast cancer?
- How do you know my cancer is triple negative breast cancer?
- Why did I get this cancer?
- Do I need genetic testing?
- Has my breast cancer spread, and if so, how far has it spread?
- What is the stage of my cancer?
- What is my prognosis or expected outcome?
- What treatments do you recommend?
- Why do you recommend those treatments?
- What are those treatment side effects?
- Will I need surgery? If so, what surgery do you recommend and why?
- Im interested in participating in clinical trials. Are you able to help me find one?
- Do you know if there are any local support groups?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Triple negative breast cancer is one of the more challenging breast cancers to treat. You might be discouraged by what you have read about triple negative breast cancer. But there are a number of very effective treatments for triple negative breast cancer, including immunotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. And every day researchers learn more about this rare cancer. Their knowledge is your power. If youre concerned you arent getting the straight story about your cancer, ask your healthcare provider to walk you through your diagnosis and treatment options.
Signs And Symptoms To Know
The signs and symptoms of triple-negative breast cancer are the same as with all breast cancers. It may present as a lump, which is more commonly hard, painless and irregular, but can also be soft, round and painful. Other signs include:
- Breast swelling
- A nipple that turns inward
- Skin changes on the breast or nipple, including redness, dryness, thickening or flaking
What Are Risk Factors For Breast Cancer Recurrence
Anyone with a breast cancer diagnosis can have a recurrence. Your risk of cancer recurrence depends on several factors:
- Age: Women who develop breast cancer before age 35 are more likely to get breast cancer again.
- Cancer stage: Cancer stage at the time of diagnosis correlates with the risk of the cancer being able to recur. Several factors determine cancer stage: tumor size, cancer grade and cancer spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Cancer grade indicates how unusual cancer cells look in comparison to healthy cells.
- Cancer type: Aggressive cancers like inflammatory breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer are harder to treat. Theyre more likely to come back and spread.
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History Of Breast Diseases
The initial symptoms of cancer are cancerous lesions in the breast . Regarding the family history of disease, the other risk factors associated with breast cancer are in-situ carcinoma, atypical hyperplasia, proliferative lesions and non-proliferative lesions . Breast cancer risks include a family history of breast cancer and benign lesions .
How Can I Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence
Healthcare providers dont know why some people experience breast cancer recurrence. A recurrence isnt your fault. You didnt do anything wrong to cause it or fail to do something more to prevent it.
Certain medications may reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in people who have early stage breast cancer. For estrogen-receptive breast cancer, hormonal therapies including tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors block either the activity of estrogen or the bodys production of estrogen. Chemotherapy may also be recommended to reduce risk of breast cancer recurrence.
Early diagnosis may make it easier to treat a recurrence. Follow your healthcare providers recommendations for mammograms and other screenings. You should also perform regular breast self-exams. Get familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can see your provider quickly if you notice changes. And remember that most breast changes occur for reasons other than cancer.
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Our Breast Cancer Specialists
The breast cancer specialist team at Siteman comprises outstanding Washington University medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, geneticists and psychologists. The diverse expertise of our specialists is what allows them to create individualized treatment plans for all triple-negative breast cancer patients.
Treatment Of Stage Iv Breast Cancer
Stage IV cancers have spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. When breast cancer spreads, it most commonly goes to the bones, liver, and lungs. It may also spread to the brain or other organs.
For women with stage IV breast cancer, systemic drug therapies are the main treatments. These may include:
- Some combination of these
Surgery and/or radiation therapy may be useful in certain situations .
Treatment can often shrink tumors , improve symptoms, and help some women live longer. These cancers are considered incurable.
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Progress In Treating Her2
HER2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer are among the most aggressive forms of breast cancer and traditionally have had lower survival rates than other types of the disease. However, early detection with routine screening has contributed to improved survival for both in recent years. Further, treatment advancesall available at Regional Cancer Care Associates , one of the nations largest networks of cancer specialists with locations in New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticutalso have helped improve outcomes in HER2-positive cancer. Meanwhile, intensive research and emerging therapeutic strategies are offering new hope for women with triple-negative breast cancer.
Four RCCA medical oncologists recently explained what drives the development of these breast cancers, how they are treated, and how women can play an important and potentially life-saving role in identifying the cancers in their earliest stages, when they can be treated most effectively.
Aileen Chen, MD, a board-certified medical oncologist practicing with RCCA in Freehold and Holmdel, NJ says, Its an exciting time in the fight against breast cancer. Next-generation sequencing technology is detecting genetic mutations that we can treat with targeted therapies in many forms of the disease. This has enhanced our ability to practice personalized medicine by customizing a patients treatment based on her molecular and genetic profiles.
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Prognosis And Survival Rates
Treatment may make triple-negative breast cancer go away. It depends on the size of your tumor, how quickly your cancer grows, and whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of your body. The treatments may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, pain, fatigue, or mental fuzziness .
Itâs hard to say exactly what the odds are because cancer affects everyone differently. Plus, how well you do depends on how early you catch the cancer and how well you responded to treatment.
In general, about 91% of all women with triple-negative breast cancer are still alive 5 years after diagnosis. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the breast the 5 year relative survival rate is about 65%. If the cancer has spread to distant places, the 5 year relative survival rate is 12%.
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Tumor Size And Lymph Node Status
The risk of recurrence is linked to the size of the original tumor as well as the number of positive lymph nodes, although these factors alone cant explain all recurrences. In the 2017 study noted earlier, for women who were cancer-free after five years of hormonal therapy, the risk of recurrence was highest for those who had large tumors that had spread to four or more lymph nodes , and lowest with small, node-negative tumors.
The risk of recurrence of these small, node-negative tumors, however, remains significant at roughly 1% per year until at least 20 years post-diagnosis. Due to the life expectancy of metastatic breast cancer , the risk of death lags somewhat behind recurrence.
|Late Recurrence Rate and Lymph Node Status|
|Years After Diagnosis|
Within these ranges, the risk of recurrence was greater in women who had larger tumors than smaller tumors . Tumor grade and Ki-67 had only moderate predictive value, and progesterone receptor status and HER2 status had no predictive value in this study.
Its noteworthy that women who had one to three positive lymph nodes were twice as likely to have their cancer recur at distant locations between five years and 20 years post-diagnosis than in the first five years, and those who have node-negative tumors were roughly four times more likely to have a late than an early recurrence.
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Exposure To Chemicals And Drugs
Females who have been exposed to dreadful carcinogenic chemicals are at higher risk of breast cancer and epigenetic alterations and mutations. Exposure and duration of exposure contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer mutagenesis . Exposure of mammary glands to polychlorinated biphenyl and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane chemicals increases the risk of breast cancer . Furthermore, continuous exposure to organic solvents, insecticides, and oil mist increases the risk of breast cancer . Antibiotics, statins, antidepressants, and antihypertensive drugs can increase the risk of breast cancer. Similarly, NSAIDs that contain aspirin and ibuprofen are considered major risk factors for breast cancer .
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Intake Of Processed Food/diet
According to the WHO, processed foods, such as meat, are confirmed group-1 carcinogen for gastrointestinal cancer and breast malignancy . The excessive use of saturated fats is also considered a carcinogen. The obesity-causing ultra-processed diet plans that are enriched in elements such as sugar, sodium, and fats are thought to be carcinogenic and increase the risk by 11% . Diets that are rich in green vegetables, fresh fruits, protein-enriched grains, and legumes are anti-carcinogenic and therefore reduce the risk of breast cancer . Similarly, diets rich in phyto-estrogen, folate elements, saturated fibers, n-3 PUFA, and vitamin D are regarded as anti-cancer agents . Hence, a low dose consumption of saturated fat and n-6 PUFA has been proposed . The antioxidants found in green tea have also shown anti-carcinogenic properties . Curcuminoids and sulforaphane derived from turmeric are thought to be anti-carcinogens .
Does Stress Cause Triple
Social stress connected to triple-negative breast cancer via fat cells. Local chemical signals released by fat cells in the mammary gland appear to provide a crucial link between exposure to unrelenting social stressors early in life and to the subsequent development of breast cancer, according to new research.
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Recurrence Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
Metastatic breast cancer is considered a chronic disease, so it doesnt go away and recur.
But in recent years, people under age 50 have seen a particularly strong decline in death rates due to breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
These declines are due in part to improved screening and treatment for the disease.
There are a few general facts that are helpful to know about breast cancer outlook:
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the United States, according to the
Statistics Dont Account For Late Recurrences
When comparing triple-negative breast cancer to positive tumors, its 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.
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Is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Aggressive
Doctors now acknowledge at least four different kinds of triple negative breast cancer based on the proteins the tumors express, she says. Triple-negative breast cancer is considered particularly aggressive. These tumors express different genes than ER/PR-positive and HER2-positive breast cancers, leading to higher risk of recurrence, Dr.
What Types Of Breast Cancer Have The Highest Recurrence Rates
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found the risk of recurrence for all breast cancers was highest in the first five years from the initial cancer diagnosis at 10.4%. This was highest between the first and second years after the initial diagnosis. During the first five years after the initial diagnosis, patients with oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer had lower rates of recurrence compared with those with ER negative disease. However, beyond five years, patients with ER positive disease had higher rates of recurrence.
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De Novo Metastatic Breast Cancer And Recurrent Breast Cancer
It is important to understand the two types of Stage IV Breast Cancer and the differences between them:-
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 cancer as triple-negative breast cancer.
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Andrew And Traceys Story
All the statistics only talk about the number of women affected what they dont mention is the effect on the people that love them parents, children, siblings, extended family, friends. My wife, Tracey, was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2010 and was told it had spread to her liver and lung in 2012. Firstly, theres the pain that you have to watch your partner go through the ongoing pain from metastasis the spread of the cancer from her breasts to her spine, ribs, liver and lung. Secondly theres the fear. Fear of losing her sooner rather than later and being alone. Andrew, Husband of Tracey, diagnosed 2010.
Afraid Of Your Triple
If you have recently received a TNBC diagnosis, you likely feel a great deal of fear. Common fears that TNBC patients have include:
- Lack of targeted drug treatments
- Treatment not working
- Cancer recurrence
While a TNBC diagnosis can be terribly scary, remember that it is not a death sentence. There are effective treatments for this cancer and many women go on to beat TNBC and live full lives, cancer-free. The earlier the cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat. This is why mammograms and early detection are so important.
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What Is The Survival Rate Of Triple
What is the survival rate of triple-negative breast cancer?
|All stages combined||77%|
Is triple-negative breast cancer more serious? Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for about 10% to 20% of all breast cancer cases. Every cancer diagnosis is unique, but in general, triple-negative breast cancer is a more aggressive type of tumor with a faster growth rate, higher risk of metastasis and recurrence risk.
Is triple-negative breast cancer curable? Its one of the most challenging breast cancers to treat. But researchers are making steady progress toward more effective treatments. Overall, 77% of women who have triple negative breast cancer are alive five years after diagnosis.
What does a triple negative mean with breast cancer? What Is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer? Triple-negative breast cancer is a kind of breast cancer that does not have any of the receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer. Think of cancer cells as a house. The front door may have three kinds of locks, called receptors One is for the female hormone estrogen.
What Is The Relative Survival Rate Of Breast Cancer
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
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Effects On Different Races And Ethnicities
In general, young women and Black women have a higher chance of being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than older women and women of other races or ethnicities. The American Cancer Societyâs Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2019-2020 reports that of all breast cancers diagnosed in Black women, about 21% are triple-negative. In comparison, only 10% of breast cancer diagnosed in non-Hispanic white women and Asian/Pacific Islanders is triple-negative, and only 12% of breast cancer diagnosed in American Indian/Alaska Native women and Hispanic women is triple-negative.
Though Black women have the highest chance of being diagnosed with triple-negative disease compared to women of other races, the rate of triple-negative diagnosis in Black women is still lower than diagnosis of other breast cancers. Like women from all racial and ethnic groups, Black women are most often diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Of breast cancers diagnosed in Black women, 61% are hormone receptor-positive.
Diagnosis Of Stage 4 Breast Cancer
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have further tests to determine the extent that the cancer has spread throughout the body. This is called staging. It helps you and your doctors decide on the best treatment options for you.
In addition the numbered staging system, the TNM staging system is also commonly used for breast cancer staging.
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