Patients who have been dealing with triple-negative breast cancer almost have no hope for an effective treatment for decades. That is the reason; this type of cancer is considered one of the most aggressive types of cancer. However, now this perception seems to be changing among health experts, as there are many effective treatment options that have come up in recent years. A senior physician and oncologist from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Dr. Erica Mayer has said that the future of triple-negative breast cancer patients is going to be bright. New treatment methods that have been developed in recent years seem to be working well on patients who are dealing with triple-negative breast cancer. These treatment options have not been there earlier. Experts from the American Cancer Society have said that triple-negative breast cancer is the tiniest category of breast cancer groups that contributes to only 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancer cases. However, it does not mean that it is an uncommon type of cancer. Experts have claimed that breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and tens of thousands of people are detected with triple-negative breast cancer each year. They have said that triple-negative breast cancer belongs to a specific class of breast cancer, as it does not have receptors that medications can target for treatment. Experts have said that breast cancer cells can contain three diverse types of receptors such as estrogen, progesterone, and a protein that is known as HER2. Each of them acts as a lock on the front door of a house. Different types of drug and hormonal remedies work like keys of these locks that can have access to enter inside and eliminate cancer cells. However, triple-negative breast cancer does not contain these receptors; therefore, it makes it hard to treat as compared to other types of cancers.
Health experts have claimed that though triple-negative breast cancer does not have any receptor, it has the same symptoms as other kinds of cancers. Increasing age, alcohol intake, smoking, obesity, and family history of breast cancer shoot up the risk of breast cancer among women. Many studies have shown that although it is not an ultimate risk factor, triple-negative breast cancer is more prevalent among Hispanic and Black women and in women who are below 50 years of age. However, experts have not been able to find out the cause behind it. An oncologist from the Breast Oncology Unit at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, Dr. Kimberly Lee has said that Black women are usually at a greater risk of being diagnosed with cancer at a tender age, therefore, there might be a link to triple-negative breast cancer as well. However, it might not necessarily be a contributory factor. He has said that even after eliminating all risk factors, it is not certain that women will not be getting breast cancer. However, abolishing risk factors as much as possible might reduce the risk of the dreaded disease to a certain extent. With the developments of new and more effective treatments, now experts believe that triple-negative breast cancer can be treated and will probably become a curable kind of breast cancer. They have said that triple-negative breast cancer can be treated with both local remedies like surgery and radiation and systemic treatments such as chemotherapy. With new medical advances, another class of treatment as well is accessible now that is known as immunotherapy. In immunotherapy, drugs help trigger the immune system to eliminate cancer cells. This class of treatment can be used along with chemotherapy. The usage of this new class of treatment depends on certain factors such as the stage of cancer.
Health experts have said that the development of new treatments such as immunotherapy has changed the popular belief that triple-negative breast cancer cannot be cured. Dr. Mayer has said that treating patients with immunotherapy before performing surgery not only kills the cancer cells in a better way but it helps prevent the reoccurrence of cancer as well, which helps patients live longer. Dr. Erica Mayer has said that the development of immunotherapy might be a game-changer in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. Experts have said that women should get their annual screening done without fail if they see any changes in their breasts. They have said that from the age of 40 years, women should get their mammograms done regularly. As per the experts, the frequency of the screening depends on individual risk. Women should consult their health care providers to evaluate their risk of breast cancer. Experts have said that women should be highly careful about some changes in their breasts and other symptoms of the deadly disease. It is also essential to know the family history of breast cancer, which can shoot up the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer for an individual. Experts have said that a family history of breast cancer can put women at a greater risk of the disease; therefore, it is important to be aware of a family history of breast cancer. Dr. Kimberly Lee has said that earlier, doctors have had no option to treat patients who have been dealing with triple-negative breast cancer. However, the scenario has changed now, as new medical advances have given hope to health care providers and patients suffering from triple-negative breast cancer. Now, doctors are able to help such patients as the disease has become more treatable in recent years.