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Diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer four years ago. How long will I live?

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Posted on Wed, 11 Dec 2013
Question: I'm going into my fourth year after I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Lumpectomy, chemo (Taxatarin (sp?) and radiation. Chemo was horrific. I want to know (diagnosed March , 2010) what recent research shows my survival rate is. I've read recent studies that it there is a 2 in 5 chance I will get brain or lung cancer within 4-7 years of diagnosis and die (UK). I turned 65 on September 2013. I 've accepted an early death; I'm not in denial. I want to know. XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Krishna Kiran Kannepalli (36 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Life is not statistics. you need to relax. Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for the query. Before answering your question, more information is needed on the exact stage of your disease. Triple negative breast cancer patients are usually given 8 cycles of chemotherapy consisting of adriamycin, cyclophosphamide and a taxane. The risk of recurrence depends on the stage at diagnosis and the tumor grade. If your are node negative, the risk of recurrence is low. Triple negative breast cancer behaves aggressively when compared to ER, PR positive cancers, but this single parameter is not the sole criterion. If you were node negative initially, the prognosis is good. Besides, you have crossed 4 years without having a recurrence which is a very good sign. Continue to be on regular follow up. If you do have a recurrence later(god forbid), it can be picked up early and such recurrences are also treatable. I have patients with triple negative breast cancer under follow up who have crossed 10- 15 years. So the picture is not gloomy at all. Stay positive and everything will be fine. Worrying about something that is not under your control will not help matters.I hope I have answered your question. Please feel free to get back for any clarifications.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Dr. Krishna Kiran Kannepalli

Oncologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 59 Questions

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Diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer four years ago. How long will I live?

Brief Answer: Life is not statistics. you need to relax. Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for the query. Before answering your question, more information is needed on the exact stage of your disease. Triple negative breast cancer patients are usually given 8 cycles of chemotherapy consisting of adriamycin, cyclophosphamide and a taxane. The risk of recurrence depends on the stage at diagnosis and the tumor grade. If your are node negative, the risk of recurrence is low. Triple negative breast cancer behaves aggressively when compared to ER, PR positive cancers, but this single parameter is not the sole criterion. If you were node negative initially, the prognosis is good. Besides, you have crossed 4 years without having a recurrence which is a very good sign. Continue to be on regular follow up. If you do have a recurrence later(god forbid), it can be picked up early and such recurrences are also treatable. I have patients with triple negative breast cancer under follow up who have crossed 10- 15 years. So the picture is not gloomy at all. Stay positive and everything will be fine. Worrying about something that is not under your control will not help matters.I hope I have answered your question. Please feel free to get back for any clarifications.