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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

An Evening with Annie Parker 2018

On January 4, 2018, I was invited by University of Toledo Center for Health & Successful Living and College of Medicine and Life Sciences for a very special visit with Annie Parker, a breast cancer survivor and genetic testing advocate.  It was Annie Parker who insisted there was a connection between cancer and hereditary after her mother, sister and herself have all battled cancer.  
Annie pushed for research that led to the 1994 discovery of the BRCA1 gene mutation by Dr. Mary-Claire King, a Geneticist.  Annie Parker was one of the fist women to be genetically tested for BRCA1 that confirmed her belief of a link between hereditary and breast cancer, upon her receiving a positive diagnosis of the BRCA1 gene mutation.  
We met with Annie Parker as she arrived at the University of Toledo Center for Health & Successful Living where she was welcomed by their staff and the support of breast cancer survivors who have participated in their services. From there, we had lunch at 31hundred Restaurant at the Radisson Hotel where we had nice conversations with Annie Parker and showing each other photos of our dogs on our cell phones.  Later in the early evening we went to the showing of the film, Decoding Annie Parker that recounts her story of fighting breast cancer and the discovery of the BRCA gene mutation.  Annie Parker did speak on the film, her journey and her book, Annie Parker Decoded, followed by a panel discussion by UTMC medical and counseling
doctors and staff.  Afterwards, it was off to eat again for dinner at the Inverness Country Club and a recap of the role and importance of genetic testing.
Thank you UT Center for Health and Successful Living, UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences and Annie Park for this wonderful day of sharing stories and education on genetic testing and hereditary breast cancer.  

University of Toledo Center for Health and Successful Living
with Annie Parker

Sharing breast cancer stories with Annie 

Sharing stories of how UT Center for Health and
Successful Living has helped us survivors in our journey

University of Toledo's President Sharon Gaber introduces
Annie Parker during the film, Decoding Annie Parker

Annie shares her story of breast cancer that
inspired the movie, Decoding Annie Parker

Panel discussion on breast cancer research and genetic testing

Melissa with Annie Parker with a signed copy of
her book, Annie Parker Decoded

Annie discusses how she insisted there was link
between breast cancer and genetics and pushed for
research in genetic testing which led to the discovery of
the BRCA gene mutation that put you a high risk
of a diagnosis.

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