Triple Negative Breast Cancer

negative breast cancer

Breast cancer is a bad, sometimes frightening diagnosis at any time but a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis is particularly disturbing. Generally speaking, this cancer is defined in terms of a receptor which reveals specific genes. The three receptors are estrogen, progesterone and Her2.

The type of receptor determines the type of medicine prescribed for the patient to best attack the cancer. But if the diagnosis comes up negative for all three receptors, the medical response is more difficult. How can you attack a particular receptor if it doesn't exist? Receptors help the cancerous cells to multiply and in order to best tackle them, a specific medicine is required.

But it is not all bad news because there are other drugs which can still be found to work. Finding the correct drug is the tricky task but once found, it can have a success rate which compares favorably with those using standard responses. Chemotherapy has been found to work successfully with triple negative breast cancer patients and the best medicine has thus far proved to be a combination of drugs. Because triple negative breast cancer is a relatively new discovery by doctors, a particular drug has yet to be announced. One line of treatment is to use drugs in chemotherapy which are not usually used for treatment in the early stages of breast cancer therapy.

Triple negative cancer does have certain characteristics. It is an aggressive cancer, it is found more in younger than older women, it is more likely to develop into metastatic breast cancer and is more likely to be found in women of African and Hispanic descent. This is interesting because, generally speaking, African American women have fewer incidents of cancer of any type than do white American women. Clinical trials are currently being carried out using patients with triple negative cancer. The future for better results is always hopeful. It needs to be understood that trials are not held over a few weeks or even months but rather years. One current trial is being run over a period of six years.

Recent studies indicate that of all breast cancers discovered, about 15% will be triple negative breast cancers. Taken as a whole, triple negative breast cancers have a high rate of secondary cancers or metastatic cancer and in many cases the additional tumor is found in the brain.

There are several unpleasant aspects to the triple negative cancer scenario - its high rate of recurrence, resistance to standard medicines in chemo, its aggressive nature and potential to become metastatic cancer. But there is a concerted effort by cancer specialists around the world to discover much more about this special type of breast cancer. Clinical trials are on-going, results are being shared and progress is being made. Women who have been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer are urged to join a support group particularly those online because it enables you to learn much from many. Hearing from those who have gone through what you are now experiencing can be stimulating and a real boost to your spirits.

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