Monday, January 11, 2010

Negative Negative Negative

So you know how you thought that breast cancer was breast cancer? Yeah, me too. But apparently there are different subtypes depending on whether they have the genes for estrogen/progesterone receptors (ER/PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). A receptor is a protein that lives inside or on the surface of a cell and binds to something in the body to cause the cell to react. The most successful breast cancer treatments are hormone-based drugs that directly target these receptors. So a person with a ER, PR, or HER2 positive subtype would see a lot of success with something like Tamoxifen or Herceptin.

I'm triple negative, which is more agressive and seen in only ~17% of breast cancer cases. This means that traditionally it's less responsive to treatment so they've been hitting me hard with the chemo (bring it, I can take it). It's also diagnosed more frequently in younger women and women with the BRCA1 gene mutation.

What does this mean? At this point in my treatment, not much. The type of breast cancer I am fighting is an aggressive SOB but I'm kicking it so hard into next Thursday that it's crying home to momma. In triple negative breast cancer the cells divide quickly, and the point of chemo is to stop cell division (hence the reason for the hair-loss) so it is very successful. And my last checkup is sure proof of that!


  1. Cristal, I hope you are doing well. You are an incredible fighter. Again I wish you the best and hope symptoms from the treatment start getting easier. I'll be prayering for you.

    Keep smiling. Emily (Kate W.'s) Auntie from Maine.

  2. Keep fighting! You can beat this thing- it's going to be sorry it stopped by to see you!


  3. Keep up the good fight dear. I'm praying daily for you. Love tante Ginie