Today, March 3rd is the global day dedicated to bringing awareness and raising funds for women battling this horrible disease. Every year, approximately 10-20% of breast cancer diagnosis are triple negative.
This breast cancer subtype is being closely studied by companies and they are a growing number of clincal trials occurring but it's just not enough. I spent some time in Chicago with a major Pharmaceutical company discussing how this affects persons of color.
Let these five facts educate you more on deadly disease.
- TNBC occurs most frequently in women ages 40-50 (younger than the average age of diagnosis across other forms of the disease), African American women and Hispanic women, and those with BRCA1 mutations.
- TNBC is more aggressive than other forms of breast cancer, making it more likely to spread to other parts of the body and more likely to recur after treatment.
- TNBC is typically treated with a combination of therapies such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. More recently researchers have shown that immunotherapy is now an option.
- TNBC tends to be higher grade than other types of breast cancer.The higher the grade, the less the cancer cells resemble normal, healthy breast cells in their appearance and growth patterns. On a scale of 1 to 3, triple-negative breast cancer often is grade 3.
- TNBC is usually a cell type called “basal-like.” “Basal-like” means that the cells resemble the basal cells that line the breast ducts. Basal-like cancers tend to be more aggressive, higher grade cancers — just like triple-negative breast cancers. Most but not all basal-like breast cancers are triple negative, and most but not all triple-negative breast cancers are basal-like.
If you would like to make a difference and help, donations are always accepted. Please make certain it's a reputable organization, like Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation or National Breast Cancer.
Always remember that Pink is Just a Color.