Sunday, November 16, 2014

Triple Negative

A friend just got a diagnosis of breast cancer and had her lumpectomy on Wednesday. 

Today, five days later, she's a breast cancer survivor and probably on her way to a full recovery.


Good news: her lymph nodes (those that drain the breast, called sentinel nodes) were not involved! 

The margins around the removed tumor looked good too.  Yay!

With those two factors and with God's help, I think she has this beat. 

The bad news is that the cells of her tumor test as triple negative: no estrogen receptors, no progesterone receptors, and no overproduction of the Her2 oncogene.  

Cells of this type are very fast-growing, but chemotherapy really knocks them out. 

I've met women who have 20-30 years survival after Triple N.  

Note: you make friends with a lot of cancer survivors after a breast cancer diagnosis.  

The book I find helpful:

 The Breast Cancer Survival Manual, 5th ed., by John Link, MD (NY: Holt, 2012).