Today has been designated the first annual Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day by the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation which helps to raise awareness and to fund research to find a successful treatment and cure of triple negative breast cancer. As I have said in the past, I have triple negative breast cancer. That means that my tumor was negative for the three most common receptors known to fuel breast cancer tumors – estrogen, progesterone and the HER-2/neu gene. There are targeted therapies for other types of breast cancer depending on what types of receptors the tumor has. At this time, there are no targeted therapies for triple negative breast cancer which occurs in 15-20% of cases. The only treatments available to me are chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. One good thing about triple negative breast cancer is that it usually responds well to chemotherapy – in my case it responded very well. The bad thing is that triple negative breast cancer is more likely to recur in the first 5 years after diagnoses than other breast cancers. There are no targeted therapies to prevent the recurrence at this time. If it doesn’t recur within the first five years it is very unlikely to recur. I guess I am really looking forward to Dec 12, 2017!!!
http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/ is a great resource for women with triple negative breast cancer. The website has lots of information about triple negative breast cancer and research. There is also a forum so that you can interact with other triple negative breast cancer patients.
I plan to enjoy life as much as I can without worrying too much about the possibility of a recurrence. I also plan to eat well, exercise, reduce stress and follow my doctor’s orders. My last regularly scheduled appointment with my medical oncologist is tomorrow and my planning meeting with the radiation oncologist is Tuesday. There is a good chance I will be back in the classroom really soon! Should be a very busy week!!!
I also wanted to mention an awesome breast cancer online support group – http://mybcteam.com/. There are over 3000 women sharing their experiences with breast cancer from all over the country – from the newly diagnosed to long time survivors. It is a very positive place. I encourage all touched by breast cancer to join My BC Team so that we may share our journey together.