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.

Carpe diem

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

Chicks For Charity motto:

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

YSC 2015 Part 1: Update on Triple Negative Breast Cancer

These are a few of the Informational PowerPoint slides on the latest on Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Heredity Breast Cancer that was presented at Young Survival Coalition Summit 2015 that I attended in Houston.

How your tumor responds to neoadjuvant chemo?
Androgen receptor positive for possible treatment target?
Androgen negative receptors = Quadruple Negative Breast Cancer?
Clinical trials of PARP inhibitors in TNBC  BRCA +
PARP inhibitors benefit TNBC BRCA positive patients
Immunotherapy  breast cancer vaccine on the horizon?
Breast cancer genes linked to other cancer related diseases
Why genetic testing is important?
Genetic testing for hereditary risk
Extra screenings or preventative surgery?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Remembering the Good Times... With Lisa

Yesterday, April 24, 2015, I lost a dear, friend Lisa Barmettler to Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). I connected with Lisa a few years ago through an online support group and met in person at Young Survival Coalition Conference in February 2013. Just 8 months out of treatment, it was at this conference when Lisa got the call from her doctor that her recent pet scan showed recurrence of her breast cancer to her pancreas and liver. Lisa was surrounded by many of her TNBC sisters that weekend... though it came as shock to all us and were saddened, we chose to enjoy and have fun with her and let the good times be a distraction to her. In October 2013, I traveled to Northern California for a TNBC sister's weekend at a friend's cabin in the mountains where once again, I met up with Lisa and spent time with her going wine tasting and going to Apple Hill checking out all the craft vendors and apple orchards and a mountain view of pine forest. Friends, this is the reason I continue to bring awareness to the disease that Lisa and I both shared. I will always big a big voice for TNBC and fund-raise for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation to find our targeted therapy and a cure... for Lisa. May you be in eternal peace Lisa, you will be dearly missed by all of us.

Good times at Young Survival Coalition Conference 2013

Northern California TNBC Sisters Weekend 2013

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Melissa Paskvan Shares Story of Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer Contest 2015

As a TNBC Day Champion chosen by the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, it was my commitment to support TNBC Day, March 3, 2015 by bringing awareness to this aggressive disease, Triple Negative Breast Cancer and our need to find a targeted therapy. This TNBC subtype affected me 5½ years ago as I fought to triumph over cancer. It wasn't until after my treatments when I realized how greatly my diagnosis had an impact on me to keep telling my story of survival, because I am not the only one that fear the return of TNBC known as a recurrence. In August 2009, I found my lump by chance as I felt something oblong along my bra band line under my breast . I was in disbelief that my worst fear was now happening to me. I reacted fast and two days later I got in for a mammogram followed by an ultrasound. My 2 cm lump did not show up on the mammogram images because I had dense breast tissues. It was thought to be just a cyst but I insisted on a needle biopsy right then and there. Then the news came when my doctor called... I was 41 and diagnosed with breast cancer. I have a strong passion for breast cancer awareness and have participated in events and conferences for Komen, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. Imagine, me Batgirl... I would be so honored to see my Tigers take a swing at breast cancer! Thank you, Melissa

Sunday, April 19, 2015

TNBC Fact Sheets 2015

Two new Triple Negative Breast Cancer Fact Sheet for patients and caregivers offered by Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and CancerCare.
Coping with Triple Negative Breast Cancer fact sheet and Caregiving For Your Loved One with Triple Negative Breast Cancer fact sheet can be downloaded from the TNBC Foundation website by clicking on  link below:


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Toledo Area Oncologist, Dr. Iman Mohamed Honored with the YWCA Science Milestone Award

My amazing oncologist, Dr. Iman Mohamed was recognized with the YWCA of Northwest Ohio, Science Milestone Award. Dr. Mohamed was honored for her outreach programs focusing on bringing awareness to breast cancer through education and preventative care. Dr. Mohamed commitment to education, research and dedication to her patients was also recognized.
Congratulations Dr. Mohamed, such a great honor!

(Click link to full story)
UT News » Blog Archive » Professor, trustee recognized for service, achievement

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer “Switch” May Lead to Better Prognosis

Written by Ann Pietrangelo | Published on April 11, 2015

TNBC study on Triple Negative Breast Cancer originating in Stem Cells vs specialized cells and how inhibitor of differentiation 4 (ID4) gene plays a role in cells dividing in stem cells.

Click link to full story:

* I was quoted at the end of this article:
Five-year TNBC survivor Melissa Paskvan of Toledo, Ohio says the study gives her hope for those who will be diagnosed in the future. “TNBC survivors have been longing for a targeted therapy for some time now. This could be a game-changing discovery in how we treat TNBC in improving survival outcome in patients.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Breast Cancer Research Fund Devoted Over $12.5 Million Towards Triple Negative Breast Cancer in 2014

"In 2014 alone, BCRF dedicated over $12.5 million to support projects studying TNBC in the U.S., Africa, Europe and the Middle East. There's an urgent need for a better understanding of -- and for better treatments for -- this aggressive disease. We will not stop until there's a cure!"

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