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Author Topic: So confused by all the different types of breast cancer  (Read 1564 times)

Offline diannastarr

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So confused by all the different types of breast cancer
« on: October 12, 2017, 10:27:19 am »
I recently discovered a lump in my right breast and I've got a doctor appointment coming up. I've been researching the types of breast cancer and i'm completely confused. I've found stuff like hormone receptor positive breast cancer, HER2 positive breast cancer, and triple negative breast cancer. What's teh difference? Does a lump indicate one over the other?

Appreciate any info as it's all so overwhelming :-\

Offline lizhigh

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Re: So confused by all the different types of breast cancer
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 04:04:58 am »
Hi Dianna,

I understand why you're confused -- there's so much information out there.

Briefly, breast cancer is classified according to what kind of receptors it expresses, and these help determine what types of treatment are likely to work.

A majority of breast tumors carry estrogen or progesterone hormone receptors (known as HR-positive). Hormones make this type of cancer grow, and it can be treated with hormone-blocking drugs. Others carry another receptor called HER2, and can be treated with HER2-specific drugs. Triple-negative breast cancer doesn’t express any of these receptors and is harder to treat.

You can't tell what kind you have by feeling the lump or from a mammogram, which should be your first step in diagnosis. Your doctor will need to do a genetic test of the cancer to see what type of treatments will work.

Best wishes,
-Liz

Offline diannastarr

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Re: So confused by all the different types of breast cancer
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 01:30:06 pm »
Thanks Liz

Quote
Your doctor will need to do a genetic test of the cancer to see what type of treatments will work.

Do they have to do a biopsy to run those tests?

Offline lizhigh

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Re: So confused by all the different types of breast cancer
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 07:32:00 pm »
Probably. Some biomarkers can be measured in a blood sample, but usually they'll need to do a genetic test of a piece of the tumor.

 


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