OK, how do you treat this? If only there were A one-size-fits-all answer, but it's pretty much the opposite: Breast cancer treatment can look really different for different people. triple negative breast cancer treatment can become even more complex for your doctors-and confusing for you as the patient.
To hopefully make things a little easier to understand, we triple breast cancer treatment on a white background.
Why do you think triple negative breast cancer is difficult
You may remember all the information we have
There's no such thing as what makes triple negative breast cancer different from other cancers on the different ways to categorize breast cancer. American Cancer Society (ACS) explains. [19659008Here'showthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc) It's like a house with receptors on the front door.
Breast cancer cells can have three kinds of receptors (or locks): One The receptor is for the hormone estrogen, another hormone progesterone, and is currently in an overgrowth of the protein human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The National Cancer Institute is widely regarded as the most subtle breast cancer )
Rita Nanda MD, assistant professor of medicine and associate director of Breast Medical Oncology at UChicago Medicine, tells SELF.
impossible to treat.
Treatment options in the early stages
Early-stage breast cancer is generally considered to be 0 through 3 Bora Lim MD, assistant professor in the Breast Medical Oncology Department at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, tells SELF. (Stage 3 is a bit of a special situation, since it is not the latest stage of breast cancer but is technically somewhat advanced ACS .)
Because there are no approved therapies available in the earlier stages of triple negative breast cancer, the standard of care is chemotherapy according to the NCI . This is a systemic therapy meaning it affects cells throughout your body. Nanda, who specializes in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer along with early-onset, hereditary, and locally advanced breast cancers. It involves taking drugs orally, via injection, through infusion, or even topically. These drugs continue the bloodstream and destroy the division of cancer cells. "The chemo that we use [for triple negative breast cancer] is the same regimen as for any type of breast cancer," Dr. Nanda says.
Typically, you will receive chemo in combination with surgery (either a lumpectomy, which removes the tumor, or a mastectomy, which removes one or both breasts). Wendy Y. Chen MD, MPH, Breast Oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, tells SELF. This helps to get the benefit of "The more knowledge about the treatment of the tumor that someone has, the more we know about their prognosis," Chen explains.
Your doctor may recommend chemo after the operation Nanda says. The HER2 overexpression, according to the ACS is more sensitive to chemotherapy than tumors with hormone receptors or HER2 overexpression. As Dr. Lim says there are several theories behind this, including the triple negative breast cancers mutate and grow so fast that they are more susceptible to the "weed killer" effect chemo can have on growing cells.
In addition to surgery and chemo, you may also refer to radiation therapy which uses high-energy particles or waves to target and destroy cancer cells, ACS .
Treatment options in the advanced stages  ACS says that it is considered to be stage 4, or late-stage. Treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are still at option for those with late-stage triple negative breast cancer. In addition, there are more recent treatments available for people in stages 3 and 4 of this disease, as a result of ongoing clinical trials.
There are many ways to treat it.
"All these tumors do not have any, not what they do have. do so we can figure out different therapies, "Dr. Nanda explains. <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> CDC's metaphor
For instance, PARP inhibitors may be an option for people with metastatic triple negative breast cancer mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes Dr , Lim says. These genes increase the risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.) Also used for those with metastatic estrogen receptor-positive and HER2-negative breast cancers. PARP, which helps to DNA damage that happens during cell division, the NCI explains.
Researchers are thus investigating whether PARP inhibitors may be effective in people without BRCA gene mutations, according to the NCI . BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, the ACS explains why they may respond to PARP inhibitors.
There's also a ton of interest surrounding systemic therapies like immunotherapy which generally works by helping to stimulate the body's immune system to fight cancer, says dr. Lim. "Immunotherapy is starting to show some efficacy in specific types of advanced triple-breast cancer," sometimes in conjunction with other treatments, Dr. Lim, who is the principal investigator on several triple negative breast cancer studies.
For instance, in March the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval for a breast cancer treatment regimen including immunotherapy. PD-L1 and may not be surgically removed.
How to find clinical trials
In general, clinical trials are FDA-approved or approved for early stages of triple negative breast cancer, dr. Chen explains.
"The hope is that we can take therapies that have been effective in late stages and move them up to be used in early stages," Dr. Nanda says.
You might think clinical trials would only be at large hospitals, possibly making them off limits to you. The great news is that these trials are becoming more widely available through community oncology groups across the country. Chen says. She points to the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a diverse national network of institutions whose goal is to bring cancer research and cancer care to communities at over 900 locations around the United States.
NCI and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But navigating these sites and the highly specific eligibility criteria for trials may be confusing. Nanda says. Plus, it can be time-consuming when you've already had a lot on your plate. So, in general, Dr. Chen recommends asking your oncologist if they know how to do it.
Talking to your oncologist is really smart because it can help you consider the benefits and drawbacks of clinical trials. (The ACS also has some great information to help guide your decision-making here .) Chen points out. And while some trials will give you the current standard treatment in combination with the intervention they are testing, in others, you want to get one or the other.
but experts do want to know that there are good reasons to be hopeful. "We're making new breakthroughs all the time in breast cancer treatment," Nanda says. "There's a lot of coming down the line."