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"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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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Story of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day in Toledo at UTMC on 3.3.14

Public invited to learn about aggressive subtype of breast cancer; RSVP by Feb. 28

The most successful breast cancer treatments target three receptors, but what happens when none of these receptors are present?
triple negative breast cancer logo with dateThat’s the case in patients who are diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a rare and sometimes aggressive subtype of breast cancer. Their condition is the focus of a new public outreach effort.
The University of Toledo Medical Center will host “A Different Shade of Pink” Monday, March 3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in recognition of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day to educate the public about the disease. The event will be held at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center.
Triple negative breast cancer occurs when estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 — the three receptors known to fuel breast cancer — aren’t present.
Because only 15 of every 100 breast cancer diagnoses are triple negative, many are unaware of what the disease entails and what options are available for treatment. The disease also is often hard to diagnose because it is more common in younger women and is not always detected in mammograms.
“I had a friend pass away from triple negative breast cancer a year ago at age 26,” said Melissa Paskvan, UT Medical Center patient who was diagnosed with this type of breast cancer in 2009 and has been in remission for four years. “A lot of people think it’s a grandma’s disease, but it’s not. It could strike anyone at any time.”
Topics for the “A Different Shade of Pink” event will include treatment options, clinical trials, genetic testing, the role of exercise, survivorship services and more. The event will begin with a social hour and food with the program starting at 6 p.m.
“One of the important roles of an academic medical center like UTMC is education and outreach,” said Dr. Iman Mohamed, associate dean of medical school admissions and chief of the UTMC Division of Hematology and Oncology. “We invite anyone impacted by triple negative breast cancer or those curious about the disease to attend this event and learn more about it.”
“I hope people walk out of this feeling more informed of this disease and the treatments available,” Paskvan said.
To hear Paskvan’s story, read her blog at mlsspaskvan.blogspot.com. Paskvan also is raising money for triple negative breast cancer; donations can be made at tnbcday2014.kintera.org/tnbcsistersunite_melissa.
To RSVP to the “A Different Shade of Pink” event, email Janelle Tipton, oncology clinical nurse specialist, at Janelle.Tipton@utoledo.edu by Friday, Feb. 28.
UT News » Blog Archive » Public invited to learn about aggressive subtype of breast cancer; RSVP by Feb. 28

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Susan G. Komen Celebrates Black History Month With Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness


Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, affects women of African descent 3 times more than Caucasians or Hispanics

What is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15-20 percent of all breast cancers and by definition, lacks the three receptors that fuel most breast cancers: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The lack of receptors complicates therapy options because many of the targeted breast cancer therapies are directed at these three receptors. Even when a chemotherapy regimen is appropriate, TNBC is often more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. Initially, the tumor responds well to chemotherapy but is more likely to relapse and metastasize.
How Does Triple Negative Breast Cancer Affect African American Women?
Research shows that TNBC affects certain populations of women more than others; it is more common in African American women, younger women, and women who carry a BRCA1 gene mutation. Women of African descent are up to three times more likely than Caucasian or Hispanic women to be diagnosed with TNBC.  In addition, TNBC in African American women tends to be more aggressive, is diagnosed at a later stage, and carries poorer survival outcomes compared to Caucasian women.
How is Komen Addressing the Problem?


Komen has awarded more than 90 research grants totaling more than $66 million looking into the causes and treatments for TNBC since it was identified as a distinct subtype in 2006. Of these, 11 grants focus specifically on TNBC in African American women, representing $14.5 million of Komen’s research investment. Two of these grants are Promise grants. One is defining the molecular differences among breast cancer stem cells in Black African, African American, and Caucasian women with TNBC and will then test new drugs that target the breast cancer stem cells as a potential therapy for TNBC.   The other aims to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy in TNBC and basal-like breast cancer by targeting immune cells. 
Other funded research projects focus on:

    • Understanding the biology of TNBC and how it develops/progresses, including the connection between BRCA1 and TNBC
    • Understanding the role of health disparities in TNBC, particularly in African American and African populations
    • Discovering biomarkers to help diagnose TNBC or predict risk, prognosis, or response to therapies
    • Developing strategies for preventing TNBC including chemoprevention and ways of mimicking an early pregnancy and/or breastfeeding
    • Developing and improving preclinical models of TNBC
    • Studying the genes and factors that contribute to the spread of TNBC to lungs, liver, brain, and bone
    • Developing new and more effective therapies for TNBC
    • Developing strategies to increase TNBC susceptibility to existing chemotherapies
Komen is dedicated to sponsoring research that will identify the treatments and advancing the science to move closer to our goal: a world without breast cancer. Through the dedication and hard work of these researchers, we are making advances to fight triple negative breast cancer in the African American population. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

TNBC Foundation as Your Preferred Charity on Amazon.com Purchases

Please consider naming the TNBC Foundation as a recipient for funds via your Amazon account. Simply go to http://smile.amazon.com, choose TNBCF as your preferred charity by doing a search for “triple negative” — every purchase made will yield a donation to TNBCF equal to 0.5% of the purchase price — on everything from toothpaste to expensive works of art! It all adds up, all year long, when you select TNBCF to benefit from purchases that you would be making anyway.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Loss of a Local Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sister

Gloria Napierala
Really hit home with me losing one of my local TNBC sisters to Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I've met Gloria in 2010 at our local breast cancer support group at the Victory Center and was welcomed into a "family" of courageous and supportive group of ladies. Gloria was originally diagnosed with hormone positive breast cancer in 2009. In April of 2013, Gloria was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer with mets to the bones. Gloria always had a good outlook and remained positive around her support sisters and gave us insight, courage and laughter. We're all going to miss Gloria at our gathering, we're all feeling the sadness... may she rest in eternal peace on January 13, 2014. My love, Melissa

(Click link)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sisters Unite for TNBC Day 3.3.2014

I have officially launched my online "Hope for more Tomorrows" fundraising campaign for TNBC Day!
Click link to make a donation in support of TNBC research.

My name is Melissa Paskvan and am a 4yr. TNBC survivor and also representing our online TNBC support groups as we unite together to raise funds for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation for continued research in hope of finding our targeted therapy. Our support group, we are never just one alone... The fears, the tears, the stress, the anxiety, the worry, and the pain are shared among all of us women in our group. We are an unique Sisterhood that are bonded by our uncommon disease, and we fight together until all us sisters are safe.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day, 3.3.14, is the only national event solely devoted to raising both awareness of TNBC and funds that provide critical support for those affected by the disease. While significant progress has been made in breast cancer research, there is shockingly little known about triple negative cancers, even though they impact up to 1in 5 women diagnosed with breast cancer. TNBC does not have any of the known treatment receptors — meaning that many of the advances in breast cancer treatment don't work for women diagnosed with TNBC.  TNBC tends to be more aggressive, more likely to recur, and more difficult to treat because there is no targeted treatment.  TNBC disproportionately strikes younger women, women of African, Latina or Caribbean descent, and those with BRCA1 mutations.

From now through May 3, 2014, we will be accepting online donations of any amount in honor of a Triple Negative Survivor, Hero, Fighter and in memory of those TNBC sisters who have departed who will never be forgotten and remain forever in our hearts. All online donations are automatically and directly goes to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation safely upon submission.

Thank you kindly and I wish you all good health.
Sincerely, Melissa

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much" - Helen Keller

http://www.tnbcfoundation.org for more information

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