Good News for the Triple Threat

Finally!  Some good news about breast cancer from CancerConnect.  Well, at least for me… and all the other women out there who are Triple-negative and carry the genetic mutation BRCA1 or BRCA2.  Hurray! (Never thought I’d be saying that!)  That’s ME! 

For those of you lucky enough to not travel in cancer circles I’ll let you know what being Triple-negative means in breast cancer terms.  Most breast cancers grow when exp0sed to estrogen or progesterone.  This is called Hormone Receptor-positive breast cancer.  Patients with this type of breast cancer will most often be put on medication (hormone therapy) to block the effects of these hormones for 5 years after chemotherapy/radiation.  Also, about 25% of breast cancers are HER2-positive.  That means the “whatever” (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, blah, blah, blah) in their bodies that controls cell growth and reproduction is working in hyper-drive.  These patients are treated with therapy to slow these agents. 

One would think that hearing cancer and negative in the same phrase would be a good thing.  Not so for Triple-negative breast cancer!  Instead, it means that there are less treatment options because there are no readily identifiable instigators.  Just to add insult to injury, Triple-negative cancer is more aggressive than others as well. 

I have already drawn the short straw in the genetic lottery by being a possessor of the BRAC2 DNA mutation.  And I have a Triple-negative breast cancer.  That makes me one of roughly 20% of all breast cancer patients.  AND I have Inflammatory Breast Cancer, comprising a mere 5% of all breast cancers. 

Geez.  I wonder what the odds of that are?

Check this out though…  The good news is that we rare Triple-negative birds seem to have a lower 5 year recurrence rate than other BRCA1/2 carriers.  Huzzah!  And just in time for my 4th Survivor Anniversary tomorrow!!!


One Response

  1. Happy Anniversary, Imstell! I’m so HAPPY that you’re HERE!

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