HER2, BRCA 1 and BCRA 2 and Triple Negative breast cancer
HER2 stands for Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2. HER2 breast cancer accounts for approx. 25% of breast cancers and is considered an aggressive type of breast cancer. HER2 receptors are found on the surface of some normal cells but in HER2 breast cancer there is a much higher than normal amount on each cell. This produces too much HER2 protein on the cell which is thought to cause the cancer cells to grow and divide rapidly. Knowing the status of the HER2 of your breast cancer will determine what treatment is best for you. To find out more about HER2 breast cancer visit HER Connection
Triple Negative Breast Cancer
This breast cancer is Estrogen receptor negative, Progesterone receptor negative and HER2neu negative. This type of breast cancer accounts for approximately 15% of all invasive breast cancers. It is most commonly found in younger patients, African American (up to 60% premenopausal women in Africa) and BRAC1 carriers (up to 80%).
ER, PR and HER2 are known to fuel most breast cancers and the most successful treatments target these receptors. Medicines like Tamoxifen and Herceptin are not helpful in treating TNBC however this type of breast cancer does respond well to chemotherapy. For more information about TNBC and teatments read Dr Maureen Trudeau MD FRCP (C) from Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Center presentation " New Treatment Options for Metastatic Breast Cancer A Focus on HER2 & Triple Negative Disease" . For more comprehensive information read "Guide to Understanding Triple Negative Breast Cancer".
BRCA 1 and BRCA 2
BRCA1 and BRCA 2 (Breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 and breast cancer susceptibility gene 2) are human genes that are known as tumor suppressors. Mutations of these genes have been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and inheriting this mutation increases the risk of developing breast/ovarian cancer. Genetic testing for these genes are done by blood sampling with genetic counseling before and after the tests. If the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 are found there are several options to help a person manage their cancer risk. For more information and support visit Willow/In Our Genes http://www.inourgenes.ca/ and FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) http://www.facingourrisk.org/