Friday, 21 July 2017 11:04

Triple negative breast cancer

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These subtypes of breast cancer are generally diagnosed based upon the presence, or lack of, three “receptors” known to fuel most breast cancers: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) Triple negative breast cancer is a result of the lack of the 3 receptors; estrogen, progestrogen and HER2, hence the name triple negative receptors. Luckily this can be cured through chemotherapy.

Several studies suggest that being premenopausal or of African ancestry increases your risk of developing basal-like or triple-negative breast cancer. Among African women who develop breast cancer, there is an estimated 20 to 40 percent chance of the breast cancer being triple-negative.

While radiation and surgery are viable options offered for treatment the best and most responsive is chemotherapy. The chemotherapy is best delivered in a systemic treatment type where it is induced either through the vein or pills. This prevents the cancer from spreading to the rest of the body.

After treatment ends, you should see your doctor every 3 to 6 months for the first 3 years; then every 6 to 12 months during years 4 and 5; and then once a year after 6 years.

With triple-negative breast cancer, the risk of the breast cancer coming back outside the breast is strongest in the first 5 years after your diagnosis. Aggressive cancer cells may travel from the breast to other parts of the body. Research shows that eating a low- fat diet, avoiding red meat and alcohol will reduce the chances of recurrence. Physical fitness activities like weight lifting, aerobics and jogging will ensure chances of recurrence significantly reduced.

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