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Triple Negative Diagnosis

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My mother is a breast cancer survivor, but one of her sisters did not survive triple negative breast cancer. This diagnosis is frightening. I am 45, and it was discovered through my mammogram. I had a biopsy earlier this week, and the results were sent to my email after hours on a Friday. I won't be able to speak to anyone until Monday and begin making appointments. This is what the pathology report details:

Invasive ductal carcinoma with basal-like features. Nottingham histologic grade 3 (tubule formation: 3, nuclear pleomorphism: 3, mitotic activity: 3)

Breast biomarker results - estrogen receptor negative, progesterone receptor negative and HER2 Inc negative. Ki-67 proliferation index 80%.

Again, I have not talked to anyone, but I am assuming my first referral will be to a surgeon as that was one thing they told me during the biopsy.

I just don't know what to ask, how quickly to move, how do I tell my mom and my daughter. I feel like once I say it out loud, it will be real.

Comments

  • trishyla1
    trishyla1 Member Posts: 44
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    Maybe. With triple negative and high ki67 you'll most likely have chemo before surgery. I did. I was diagnosed on 8/29/2016 with triple negative breast cancer. My ki67 was 96.

    I did four rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxin followed by 12 rounds of Taxol. Then I had surgery. And then 5 more months of Xeloda (an oral chemo).

    It sucks, it's hard, but it is doable. I just passed my seven year mark since diagnosis. My chemo buddy did also.

    You're in for a rough year or so, but you got this. We're here to help. Good luck.

    Trish

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,903
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    Welcome, @fostereef. We're so sorry you're here, we know how overwhelming and scary this all feels. You've come to the right place for support!

    We have a very active triple negative community here at BCO. Our Triple Negative forum is a great place to start for resources, guidance on what to ask in these early days and weeks, and connection with others who know all too well what you're going through.

    The Mods

  • cookie54
    cookie54 Member Posts: 658
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    @fostereef I'm sorry that you find yourself here dealing with this. Please know that tnbc does not mean it's over. TNBC has come a long way even since when I was first diagnosed in 2016. They have learned so much about the disease and have added many more drugs to the list since. Of course they need to learn more about all cancers and work daily to find treatments to improve overall survival rates.

    I understand this is a devasting situation and your head is spinning . If possible spend time to sit and write down all the questions you have for your doctors regarding surgery and treatment. It's a good idea to stay organized and start a notebook or binder to have your questions, reports etc together. My binder was an easy grab and go for appointments.

    This is an excellent site for information, everyone is here to support you and help you navigate. I know Monday can't come fast enough for you. I hope time moves quickly but you have to remain hopeful and know there will be a plan made for you to combat this. For now lean on whatever helps you deal with stress, cry, scream, pray, exercise , meditate, whatever helps.

    Sending you strength and positive vibes as you begin to navigate this. Hugs.

  • kind5always
    kind5always Member Posts: 1
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    Hello, I’ve just been diagnosed with triple negative BC. I’m 52 and I had been expecting Estrogen +, because of my age and because that is what my mother had. I’m going to be starting with chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumor. Then mastectomy. If the tumour shrinks and the mastectomy removes the breast, why is the prognosis for triple negative worse than other kinds? Sorry, my head is spinning.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,903
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    Hi @kind5always , We're so sorry your head is spinning. It's so much to take in.

    Triple negative breast cancer tends to be more aggressive and harder to treat.

    And as triple negative breast cancer lacks the receptors that other types of breast cancer have, some treatment options may be less effective or not appropriate.

    That said, there are MANY excellent treatments!

    Just one step at a time, and we're here to help guide and support you along the way.

  • cookie54
    cookie54 Member Posts: 658
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    @kind5always Sorry to hear your dealing with TNBC but as mods said there are many more effective therapies than ever before. I can say that first hand as I was diagnosed in 2016 and now dealing with it again there have been many more therapies in the arsenal now.

    Also as mods stated TNBC lacks receptors so it is more challenging to treat than other breast cancers that they know the receptors to target.

    Positive vibes and thoughts your way as you begin treatment.

  • tresure7
    tresure7 Member Posts: 1
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    Newly diagnosed with TNBC 1/21/24. Just knowing I’m not alone is helpful. I’m ready for my surgery in 11 days and likely to be followed by chemotherapy. My blood pressure is high with every doctor visit. I’m told it’s not a concern at this time.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,903
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    We're so sorry you find yourself here, @tresure7. It's a club no one wants to join, but you are definitely not alone!

    We want to let you know we offer very supportive, moderated Virtual Community Meetups. There are a number of different groups and times, so if you're interested, please check them out here: Virtual Community Meetups.

    We’re here for you,

    The Mods

  • cookie54
    cookie54 Member Posts: 658
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    @tresure7 Sorry to hear about your diagnosis on TNBC. As I said above there are so many new treatments that evolved over the years for us. I know how hard things are right now but with each step through the process it will get easier. I wish you a successful surgery and a quick recovery. Sending positive thoughts and strength your way. Hugs.