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Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

Posted 4/2/2014

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  Yes, I know this is the second blog that I have written today. Not only that, it is the second blog about metastatic breast cancer. There are reasons for both: I am spending tomorrow morning at a conference, giving a three hour workshop to other social workers about working with people who have advanced cancer. Therefore, the topic is on my mind. When that workshop is done, I am heading for Logan to catch a plane to MN to visit my daughter and her family for the weekend. I am very much looking forward to seeing them and suspect that there won't be a good opportunity to do a blog tomorrow. Ergo, two today.

  As most of you know, triple negative breast cancer is breast cancer that is ER negative, PR negative, and her2 negative. This means that a number of targeted treatments (all the hormonal therapies, herceptin and its' new cousins) are irrelevant. What this then means is that there are fewer treatment options. Here is the better news: triple negative cancers are especially sensitive to chemotherapy, so many of the chemo options are very helpful.

  This is an introduction to an excellent guide from Living Beyond Breast Cancer about metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Here is the start and then a link. The guide itself can be read online or downloaded.

Living With Triple-Negative Metastatic  Breast Cancer
Coping With Treatment Choices and Emotions

Receiving a diagnosis of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer can initially sound triple
scary: The cancer does not respond to hormonal or HER2-targeted therapies. In addition,
since only about 10 to 20 percent of breast cancers are triple-negative, you may feel alone in
living with the diagnosis.
Yet, many chemotherapy options are available to treat the disease, other medicines can
lessen negative side effects, and there is emotional support to be found. Banding together,
women with TNBC are raising awareness of the issues surrounding this diagnosis, while doctors
and researchers actively focus on finding new treatments. TNBC, they say, is the next frontier
in the development of new targeted therapies.


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