By Green Shoot Media
If your cancer has any of these receptors, doctors have an avenue for treatment they can use to help destroy the cancerous cells. But with triple-negative breast cancer, doctors must look to other treatment options, such as chemotherapy. Triple-negative breast cancer tends to be more aggressive and have a poorer prognosis than other breast cancers and the cancerous cells tend to resemble healthy breast tissue. WHO CAN GET IT? Anyone can get triple-negative breast cancer, but it tends to affect more younger people, Black and Hispanic women and people with a BRCA1 mutation. About 10-20% of breast cancers or triple-negative breast cancers. TYPES OF TREATMENT Without these receptors to reach the cancer cells, doctors turn to other forms of treatment. The first step is usually to have the tumor removed – a lumpectomy – or the whole affected breast removed – a mastectomy. These surgeries are usually followed by radiation therapy, where high-energy radiation is given to your breast to kill any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy can kill any cancer cells that have spread elsewhere in the body and lowers the chance that cancer will recur. SIDE EFFECTS These treatments, though they may be successful, aren’t without side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says to expect hair loss, nausea, tiredness and skin changes. There are new treatments that may be able to help with hair loss from chemotherapy; talk to your doctor if losing your hair is a concern. Chemotherapy can also cause nausea, but your doctor can give you medication to help. Fatigue is associated with both chemotherapy and radiation. It will subside a few weeks after your therapy ends. There may also be skin changes with radiation, including redness or peeling like with a sunburn. GENETIC COUNSELING People of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage have a higher risk of certain types of cancer, including triplenegative breast cancer. Genetic testing followed by genetic counseling can help you determine a course of treatment and risk management both for you and your family.