I promise

"I promise, Suzy... Even if it takes the rest of my life." - Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

What is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?


Just in recent years, Triple Negative Breast Cancer has sparked interest in the news where instead of calling the tumor as ER-negative, PR-negative, and HER2-negative; researchers began using the shorthand term, "Triple Negative," dubbed the "new type" type of cancer. Being Triple Negative, you don't have a targeted therapy and that your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Triple Negative is seen in about 15% of all breast cancers. Triple Negative is a very aggressive cancer that tends to strike younger women, pre-menopause, especially among African-American women and women who have BRCA1 mutations. The tumor tends to be fast growing and is less likely to show up on an annual mammogram. TN is more likely to metastasis early on; has a high rate of recurrence in the first 2-3 years from diagnosis and has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer due to lack of specific, targeted treatment for TNBC.

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Seize Each new Day with Renewed Strength,
Believe in Yourself, Go forward with
Courage and faith
to face whatever Tomorrow may bring.

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Enjoy life. Laugh a lot.
Work hard. Play hard.
Be thankful for our blessings.
Share the wisdom. Give back

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sisters Network Inc., National African American Breast Cancer Conference Tour 2013

Dr. Lisa Newman and Melissa Paskvan

On May 25, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the National African American Breast Cancer Conference tour in Detroit, MI hosted by Sisters Network, Inc. Detroit Chapter and met Dr. Lisa Newman whom I always admired her research in TNBC. Dr. Lisa Newman is a highly respectable oncology doctor specializing in research of Triple Negative Breast Cancer in African Ancestry. I have been following for about 2 years now, Dr. Lisa's research and journey to Ghana, Africa trying to find the correlation of TNBC in African-american and africans of Ghana. I, myself try to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible on TNBC so I can better understand this dreadful disease. Thank you Sisters Network, Dr. Lisa Newman and Dr. Thomas M. Flake Jr. for organizing this very informative breast cancer conference, I have gained a wealth of insight from your presentation. Please see below a schedule of the 2013 conference tour. Also, below are some notes I took at the conference.

Sisters Network ladies, Dr. Thomas
Flake and Dr. Lisa Newman on the
far right

Notes from the Conference with Dr. Lisa Newman, University of Michigan on Triple Negative Breast Cancer:
  • Breast cancer deaths decreasing
  • Cannot predict progression or pattern (ex. lungs, liver, brain or bones)
Management of Breast Cancer
1) Removing tumor
2) Entire breast must treat
3) Node must be staged
    - Indicator of progression to other parts of body.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer:
  • TNBC- 80% of Basil-like
  • Medullary carcinoma - more favorable results
  • Average breast cancer age 60, TNBC- 5-10 years younger
  • TNBC and survival- Early Detection is CRITICAL! 
  • Parp
  • Cannot prevent TNBC at this time
  • Multiple pregnancy increase TNBC
  • Bilateral mastectomy does not improve survival!
  • TNBC in African-American - Does it have a mutation like BRCA? 
  • TNBC - 16% white, 26% african-american, 82% Ghana
  • TNBC - expressed highly in Africa
  • African-american has lower WBC, results in delay or decrease in chemotherapy which could have effect on survival.
  • More likely to be invisible on mammogram

Markers - Stem Cell

  • ALPH-1 expression - predictor of poor clinical outcome
  • EZH2 protein - expressed in invasive carcinoma cells

BRCA referrals:
  • Also look at extended family
  • Younger than age 40 diagnosis 
  • TNBC Dx - usually age 50-60
  • Don't know all the mutations
  • Negative test - Still unknown mutations detected

Taking care of you
  • Fatty intake - low
  • Stay active
  • Better breast care monitoring
  • Drink more water - get toxins out of the body

Notes from the Conference with Dr. Thomas M. Flake Jr. MD. F.A.C.S on Advanced Breast Cancer:
  • Any tumor greater 5cm attach to skin or chest wall is considered advanced
  • Stage 3 considered advanced
  • Stage 3 - survival 4.9 years
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy - 10-20% complete response
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) - 1/3 are cured
  • Locally advanced - affix to chest wall- inoperable 
  • Locally advanced- fighting an uphill battle
  • Treatment - does not increase survival but improves quality 
  • New breast cancer diagnosis- age 40-49 
  • 90% of breast cancer patients are surviving... why? Mammography and breast self exam - EARLY DETECTION!
  • Need to expand in mammography and self exams to save lives.



Sisters Network Inc. is the only National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization.


Sisters Network Inc. is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Mel!! <3 I hope I can make one of their future events.


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