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Perspectives on Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Posted 7/9/2013

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  As most of you know, triple negative breast cancers are those that are not ER positive, PR positive, or her2 positive. Surely this cell type of breast cancer has been around forever but the designation is relatively new. It has only been in the last twenty years or so that increasinging attention has been paid to different specific types of breast cancer with the accompanying research focus on therapies that are targeted or designed to be effective for a particular tpe of cancer cell. The first so-called target therapy in breast cancer was tamoxifen for ER positive cancers, followed (several decades later) by the AIs, herceptin and it's cousins, and many drugs that are currently in trials. Finding targeted therapies for triple negative cancers has been more difficult as  known targets (her2, for example) are not there.

  Triple negative breast cancers are often aggressive which means, on the positive side, that they are especially responsive to chemotherapy. Remember that chemo attacks fast growing cells, so slower growing cancers are often less damaged by the drugs.In a nutshell, that is why the hormnal/anti-estrogen therapies are so effective and are used either alone or in combination/after chemotherapy for women with ER/PR positive cancers.

Women who have triple negative cancers are frequently especially anxious about their prognosis and looking for information and reassurance.This is an excellent articke, an interview with Dr Lisa Carey from UNC, about current perspectives on triple negative cancers. From the ASCO Post, I give you the beginning and then a link to read more. But, first, some reassurance: I personally know many, many women who were treated for triple negative breast cancers and who are completely well years later.

And, some minutes later, once again a frustrated apology. I am working remotely from Maine, and nothing works smoothly, and I end up with boxes and square and weird symbols when I try to cut and past the first paragraph. The best that I can do is give you a link without a little something to rouse your interest. If the tripe negative topic is of relevance to you, this is well worth reading:

http://www.ascopost.com/issues/december-15-2012/current-perspectives-on-triple-negative-breast-cancers.aspx

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