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triple_negative_breast_cancerWhat is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?

Triple negative breast cancer is not your normal form of breast cancer.  It is often referred to as basal cell cancer because it does not express the three genes normally associated with breast cancer.  These genes are estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), or (HR)2.  

A Serious Triple Threat to Cancer Victims

Actually, triple negative breast cancer really expresses the things in its name, which it is not, the absence of these three receptors which is found in most breast cancer.  This type of breast cancer is much more aggressive than normal breast cancer, if you can really call any type of cancer normal.  Triple negative breast cancer also does not respond to normal treatment of breast cancer such as radiation and tamoxifen.  About fifteen percent of all breast cancer detected in women is triple negative breast cancer.

Although triple negative breast cancer does not respond to normal cancer treatments that does not mean that it is untreatable.  Right now, triple negative breast cancer is treated with chemotherapy.  

Many women feel that because this cancer is so much more aggressive than normal breast cancer, they should be having treatment beyond chemotherapy.  Many feel a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy should be considered more than they normally are when this cancer is detected as being present, however, chemotherapy seems to be the treatment that this cancer responds to the best.

Research Statistics and Triple Negative Target Audiences

Triple negative breast cancer is often detected in women before the age of 50 and also in African Americans and Hispanics.  It has also been found to target other ethnic groups, but these are most predominant.  Because this kind of cancer is so much more aggressive, it has a tendency to spread beyond the breast.  Because of this, sometimes the five year survival rates are also lower with this type of breast cancer than with any other.

Triple negative breast cancer, although,seems to respond positively to chemotherapy, we must not forget that this is an aggressive form of breast cancer and because of its tendency to metastasize to other parts of the body even though a woman may survive the original outbreak.  There is a more than slight possibility that the cancer will occur in another part of her body within months of having fought off the original cancer.

Survival is Possible for Proactive Women

Although these facts are very sad, they are true.  It is so important for women to receive yearly mammograms no matter how uncomfortable we think they are.  These measures can result in a life saving treatment especially when cancer is found in the triple negative.

We can turn this triple negative into a triple positive by doing three simple things:  regular self breast examinations, yearly mammograms, and yearly trips to the gynecologist.

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