What to do if you or someone you know is diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer?

If you or someone you know is diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, it is important that you seek immediate treatment from medical doctors who specialize in the treatment of breast cancer and have treated other women with triple negative breast cancer. They will ensure that both of your breasts have been evaluated thoroughly and that you are fully informed of all of your treatment options. For most women, surgery will be the first treatment step. Surgical options consist of either lumpectomy plus radiation therapy or mastectomy with breast reconstruction, if desired. However, women with larger tumors or disease that has spread beyond the breast may sometimes be treated first with chemotherapy. Due to the lack of benefit from hormone blocking therapy and Herceptin, chemotherapy is often recommended. Other treatment may also be needed depending on the extent of cancer.

Suggestions for Making the Most of Your Medical Appointments

A cancer diagnosis can be scary and remembering everything your doctor tells you is often challenging. It is a good idea to bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment for emotional support and to help make sure you get the information you need. You may also want to bring a tape recorder to make sure that you have an accurate record of what was discussed at your appointment. However, some doctors may be uncomfortable with this so be sure to ask first.

Prepare for doctor visits by making a list of questions in order of importance. Ask the most important ones first, in case you are not able to get through the whole list. To help get you started, we have created list of questions that you can print out and take with you. This list is only a guide and may not include everything that you specifically need to know so feel free to add and ask your own questions. Be sure to write down the answers you get and be sure you understand everything that is explained to you.

Remember, you have a right to be well informed. If you are not comfortable talking with your doctor or believe you are not getting the information you need, do not be afraid to get a second opinion.