What Are Survival Rates For Triple Negative Breast Cancer?

Question

Asked by Traci

What Are Survival Rates For Triple Negative Breast Cancer?

I just turned 38 and am caucasion. I have stage 2 grade 3 triple negative ductal breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy and am undergoing chemotherapy. I've had four treatments of Epirubicen and Cytoxin and 4 of the 12 treatments of Abraxane I am supposed to take. This will be followed with 2 months of radiation. My mom also had breast cancer as did a couple great aunts and cousins. My mother survived. What are my chances of survival if I complete this course of treatment? If I stop chemo due to excruciating pain that is unresolved? What should I expect, or be on the lookout for, during the next few years? I have children and a husband that need me and I remain hopeful but want to know what to really expect.

Thank you,

Traci

Answer

Tough question to answer, Traci. Your doctor can give you all the statistics - but they're averages, and at the end of the day each woman is her individual statistic. Here's a post on statistics, for more good information about that.

In general, triple negative breast cancer is harder to treat, since there's no long-term hormone therapy that works. Women with TNBC are more likely to suffer a recurrence the first 3 years after treatment - if memory recalls, about 30% will have a recurrence, compared to 15% with other types of breast cancer. Past 5 years, though, the survival rate is the same for TNBC as it is for other breast cancers. Please read our triple negative FAQS for more information about that.

I'm sorry you're going through this. Obviously, completing chemo would afford you more protection than stopping it; but how much more, I couldn't say. Again, a question for your oncologist. And perhaps you need a second opinion about the pain - have they tried multiple ways to treat it? Acupuncture? A pain clinic?

Good luck to you, and stay in touch, OK? We're here for you. PJH

Answered by PJ Hamel