Triple Negative Breast Cancer overview, causes and treatments

Triple Negative Breast Cancer overview, causes and treatments

Triple Negative Breast Cancer overview and treatments

This article on TNBC is in production and will be completed shortly. It is an overview on Triple Negative Breast cancer, or TNBC, a cancer where orthodox medicine offers little or nothing and so alternative cancer treatments for TNBC are important.

This article has been compiled from worldwide research and expert sources.
What exactly is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?
Triple Negative Breast Cancer is an increasingly common type of breast cancer, where the breast cancer cells do not have receptors for oestrogen (estrogen) or progesterone or HER2. The cancer is thus dubbed ER-ve, PR-ve, HER2-ve, and triple negative. 
Who gets breast cancer?
It used to be claimed by the major UK charities and health bodies that, despite the high profile cases of Pop Stars contracting the disease in their twenties and thirties, the facts indicated that breast cancer was an ’old persons’ cancer’. As a result and with an ageing population, numbers developing the disease would get worse.

It is true that you are more at risk of breast cancer the older you get. Sadly, with ageing comes increased deficiency in cellular replication systems, more chances of genetic mistakes, reduced protective hormone levels and a build up of toxins.

However, there has been a consistent and gradual lowering of the age of breast cancer diagnosis with approximately 40 per cent of diagnoses now occurring in women below the age of 60, and just 60 per cent above that age. Breast cancer as a middle age phenomenon has increased by 40 per cent or more in the last two decades. It is quite clear that there is more to this cancer than ageing.


So what ’type’ of breast cancer do you have? Ductal or Lobular? 50% of anomalies under mammograms are ductal and 50% lobular.

Ductal: The breasts are made up of ducts connecting the nipples to glandular tissue containing the lobes.

You can have a build up of calcium in your ducts. This causes irritation and inflammation and ultimately may become cancer. This is called Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, or DCIS. If it has progressed it will move into the lobes and then it will be called Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
If you have Ductal issues - from calcification to cysts, or even cancer, it is really important you clear the ducts of calcium. It is usually the product of too much dairy consumption - so don’t consume cows’ dairy and encourage the calcium leave the ducts and get into the bones with 5000 IUs of Vitamin D supplementation (or 4 hours in the sunshine) plus magnesium (125mg per day) and a fish or krill oil. To be avoided later in your treatment is supplementation with NHS bone supplements like Adcal or similar, since adding chalk/calcium to the problem will only make matters worse. Magnesium and vitamin D strengthen bones by aiding the uptake of calcium into them.
Some of the breast tissue extends into the armpit, the home of some of your lymph nodes.

The ducts and the lobes are surrounded by fat. Fat is a wonderful solvent and will dissolve and hold all those environmental chemicals, toxins and hormones (your own and ingested ones) that you really should be avoiding and/or excreting. Being overweight will worsen the problem as that will increase the percentage of fat in the breast. The good news is that Northwestern University Medical School in America showed that women who deliberately shed the pounds after developing breast cancer improved their odds of survival over those who did not.

Causes of TNBC

The Science of Epigenetics sheds light on this. The increasing risk of cancer in the world is due to 4 factors - poor diet, environmental toxins, hormones such as thyroxine or estrogen, and/or stress. Epigenetics is a well-respected science and has shown that much of cancer has a metabolic rather than genetic base to it. All the latest science shows that metabolic cancer is reversible and you are not ’doomed’. 

Go to:  Epigenetics, cancer and why you are not doomed 

Can breast cancer run in families?

Another concern you often hear is that Breast Cancer runs in families, particularly with women with TNBC. Every woman with TNBC should have genetic testing at the outset. A genetic mutation is more likely with this cancer.

Go to: Gene modifications BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB and an increased risk of cancer

You may have heard of BRCA1 and BRCA2. These were originally thought to be specifically BReast CAncer causing genes but are now known to be a gene that weakens the immune systems ability to spot a cancer cell, and a gene that prevent the cells ability to repair its own DNA; and these can be found in both men and women and lie behind many cancers. Other genes linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer are still being discovered for example, PALB-2 but, again, these seem more to do with the repair and immune systems than the breast tissue itself.

According to Cancer Research UK although only approximately 7 per cent of women carry a genetic mutation, these account for at least 25 per cent of breast cancers diagnosed and genetic mutation can lie behind TNBC.  As you will see below, Boston University Medical School believe that the maximum levels of breast cancer determined by genetic mutation is less than 10%, and the over-riding cause is Environmental toxicity.  

Moreover, there is now a large study showing that even if you are BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive, is does not reduce your survival time one jot. So don’t feel your are doomed because you have a genetic fault!

Go to: Having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation make no difference to your survival

Genes come in pairs, one from your mother, one from your father. The weak gene is masked by a normally functioning healthy gene. Even if you have one of these mutations you are not 100% doomed - estimates suggest that the risk of getting breast cancer is still less than 70 per cent. More clues here - estimates suggest this figure has risen from about 20 per cent 50 years ago, quite probably along with increased levels of environmental toxins around us, poorer diets and less healthy lifestyles.


Other contributory factors to breast cancer and TNBC

Lifestyle factors - Various epidemiology studies have shown that smoking increases risk, as does increasing levels of regular alcohol consumption. An extra glass of wine a day will increase risk by about 7 per cent.
Dietary factors - are clearly important. There has been one study in particular that concluded a Rainbow Diet slashed the risk of breast cancer and particularly TNBC.

Go to: Rainbow diet ’slashes’ risk of TNBC 

Various global studies show that women with breast cancer have much lowered blood levels of vitamin C, vitamin B-12 and long-chain omega-3. Research shows that tocotrienol vitamin E, fish oils and garlic appear to be particularly protective.

Unfortunately, high street vitamin E is a usually a limited and synthetic copy of the real thing being usually the alpha-tocopherol form.  

Above all, research has shown that 82 per cent of women on diagnosis have low plasma levels of vitamin D and this must be addressed as it is indicative of survival times.

Professor Holick of Harvard Medical School once stated that 25 per cent fewer women would die of breast cancer if they had adequate blood levels of vitamin D, the vitamin developed under your skin by the action of sunlight. Unfortunately, women in Britain do not see too much of the sun in winter. D3 is a supplement often used and 5000IU’s a day the level recommended by Holick’s team. Vitamin K seems to aid the action of vitamin D. It is found in a daily helping of ’greens’. But......
Your Gut bacteria are crucial - Your gut bacteria are responsible for your immune system and immune memory. They hold bad bacteria and yeasts in check and they MAKE a host of important compounds - like your B vitamins, vitamin K, serotonin, melotonin, short-chain esters that prevent cholesterol build up in your blood stream, or inflammatory compounds being made.

One study showed that women who had a history of taking antibiotics were twice as likely to develop breast cancer (Journal of the American Med Assn 2004, Feb 18; 291). Drugs (especially proton pump inhibitors, and antibiotics damage the gut and some women have a history of antibiotic use when young; or to combat acne and so on. Then damage can be self-inflicted: poor diet, too much sugar, salt, pickled foods, binge drinking, smoking or stress. Finally you could have a parasite. Pathogens and parasites have been shown to survive in our bodies for 20 years or more before ’coming out to play’. 

Hippocrates once said ’All illness begins in the gut’; in this book we tell you exactly how to heal your gut. 
Go to: ’Heal your Gut - Heal your Body’.

There have been several studies showing a greater presence of pathogens such as E. coli in women with breast cancer and certain bacteria seem to go missing. Women with breast cancer were more likely to have gum and dental hygiene problems.

At a minimum, especially after you have taken drugs and antibiotics you should return your gut to good health. Look at Para-Free Plus, Pancreatic enzymes and Probiotic supplements like Practitioner strength Probio8 Max, specifically designed for people with gut issues.

Go to: All cancer begins in the gut  

"To rebuild your gut, why not see what Our Natural Selection has in store. Go to: Gut Health Products?"  
Building your personal TNBC programme

The American cancer society in 2012 showed that three complementary therapies in particular could increase survival and even prevent a cancer returning. These were Diet, exercise and weight control. In 2017, the same charity showed that patients with cancer metastases, even after surgery and chemotherapy, had 31 per cent less recurrence and 42% less death across a seven year period, if they adhered closely to the Diet and exercise guidelines.

Go to: The CANCERactive Diet and exercise guidelines

Other things to consider include whether you have enough oxygen or vitamin D in your blood stream; do you have high bad fat in your blood (it increases cancer spread), do you have a problem in your gut, do you have chronic inflammation and so on. All these and more must be fixed if you are to move from a body conducive to cancer to one conducive to health.

There are a number of bioactive natural compounds you should include in your diet

Go to: Seven natural compounds that fight TNBC

And the Science of Epigenetics tells us that there are a great number of bioactive compounds that can correct cancer cells.

Go to: Bioactive natural compounds and TNBC

If you would like Chris Woollams to build you a personal program ...

Go to: Personal Prescriptions with Chris Woollams
They are tailored to you, your cancer and your lifestyle.
Environmental Toxins and TNBC
The US State of Evidence report 2006 summarises the findings of more than 350 experimental, epidemiology and ecological studies and recommends new directions for the future in disease management. In particular it looks at the growing and vast amount of research on the effects of ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION - like toxic chemicals and EMFs on the risks of developing the disease.

Dr. David Sherr and his team at Boston University Medical School have done a lot of work on Environmental Toxins and breast cancer, particularly TNBC. They have shown that a receptor - the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, or AhR - is the target of many environmental chemicals and is 50 times higher in breast cancer tissue than in healthy tissue. BUMC have statistics that show at a maximum genetic mutation accounts for only 10% of breast cancer while the rest is largely due to Environmental toxins and lifestyle. They have shown that AhR is linked to metastases.
There is increasing evidence that various Electromagnetic Forces  can also reduce these levels of melatonin whilst stimulating levels of IGF-1 and other hormones. This is not a modern myth. Scientists are growing increasingly worried by the electronic smog that surrounds us all from masts, to mobile phones, to WiFi even electric blankets! One study even showed that EMF’s could reduce the effect of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen!
TNBC Diagnosis

About 52,000 cases of Breast cancer will be diagnosed in the UK in the next 12 months. Note we said diagnosed.  

We have an extensive article on screening mammograms on our web site. Up to 35 per cent of problems diagnosed can be false positives. Worse, there is increasing research evidence that those women particularly at risk of breast cancer who have a genetic issue, are more likely to develop breast cancer if they have a regular screening mammogram.
Many experts question the mammograms save lives story; 2013 research showed it does not. One European breast cancer symposium in recent years included research showing mammograms were at best only 60 per cent accurate. Do not under any circumstances have any treatments until cancer has definitely been confirmed through a means other than mammography screening. (You could use Thermal Imaging, even Iridology as a back up).

A biopsy is the most reliable method - but you should read our article on the dangers of any surgery and how you can prevent complications in advance (Can surgery spread cancer?) 

Symptoms - You should check your own breasts regularly. You are looking for lumps, or thickenings especially behind the nipple, sudden inversion of a nipple, dimpling on the skin surface, a rash, or a swelling under the armpit.

Most lumps are not cancer and are benign. Most often they are cysts, which are sacs of liquid randomly appearing in the breast tissue, or they can be benign fibroadenomas. Either way they are easily treated and no cause for concern.

If a cancer is suspected, the normal procedure is to have a biopsy. This may take tissue from under your armpit as well as from your breast. Only after tissue has been taken can anyone correctly tell you the spread (the Stage) and aggressivity (the Grade) of the cancer. After analysing the biopsy tissue, the experts should be able to tell you clearly whether or not it is Er+, Pr+ or Her2+. If it is none of these then it is triple negative. 
TNBC treatment alternatives

The first thing to say is that the oncologists have nothing specific to TNBC, unlike the drugs for Er+ve cancers or Her2 +ve.

But they will try to give you them anyway.

Surgery: They will aim to get good margins and remove the lump if the cancer tumour is alone and small enough. If it is Ductal and already Invasive, and you have other ’hot spots’, they will want you to have a mastectomy.
Oncologists are mindful of the risks and where possible now prefer lumpectomy to full breast mastectomy. (You may be advised to have chemotherapy prior to surgery to reduce the size of the tumour and increase your chances of a lumpectomy rather than full-blown breast removal). If you have lymph node removal you should find out about lymphatic drainage and lymphodaema. We have articles on these too.

Reconstructive surgery may be proposed and effected at the same time, although US research suggests waiting gives better results.

Beware the removal of Lymph nodes. If there is suspicion of cancer spread, the surgeon may remove the Sentinel Node. If that looks positive he may go further and take out 4 more. We have heard horror stories where a surgeon removed all the lymph nodes in an armpit but they were all clear. The woman was left with lymphoedema.
Radiotherapy: Most commonly used after surgery to kill off any localised and remaining cancer cells. It may also be used on the lymph glands under the armpit if they were infected. The Lancet has warned that the side-effects of radiotherapy are not insignificant  women should ask their doctor about possible effects on lung and heart tissue. Modern radiotherapy is much more targeted and has reduced risks. 

We have a good article on how to maximise the effectiveness of your radiotherapy there are a number of research findings on hyperbaric oxygen, selenium and isoflavones from around the world. (Look under Treatments radiotherapy.) Reports from MD Anderson and UCLA suggest that you can continue to take all anti-oxidants and supplements during this time and that they increase the effectiveness of Radiotherapy.
It is very important that you attend all your radiotherapy appointments as the dose of radiotherapy you need has been carefully worked out. Up to 80 per cent of women miss one or more treatment!

Increasingly in the USA Proton Beam Therapy is replacing old fashioned, damaging radiotherapy. Invented by MD Anderson in 2005, it pulses radiation, and damages nothing before, after or around the tissue. 

Chemotherapy: The actual programme of chemotherapy depends totally upon the individual (age, health etc) and the state of the cancer. Several drugs may be suggested at the very outset, before a very specific plan is drawn up. The problem is that oncologists know that there are no drugs that can cure TNBC. However, in the UK oncologists still tend to treat TNBC just like any other cancer. Three rounds of FEC, followed by three rounds with the addition of Docetaxel or Paclitaxel (taxol). We have research in our Chemo drugs section that shows Paclitaxel or Taxol can spread cancer. There is also 2017 research that shows only 11 out of the 68 drugs launched just 5 years ago have any effect on survival times.

You can make your chemo more effective, in killing more cancer cells and reducing side-effects.

Go to: 6 ways to make your chemo work better 

Given the chemotherapy offers little for women with TNBC, you might like to read about old drugs originally intended for other illnesses that have now been shown to have an effect against cancer - drugs like plasma sugar-lowering metformin, or plasma fat-lowering small statins. They have well-documented and few side-effects.

Go to: Repurposing old drugs that are effective against cancer

We also have a highly regarded article entitled A Diet for Chemotherapy - so click that link to go straight to it.

Research on TNBC

Research has gathered pace on Triple Negative Breast Cancer and you should go to Cancer Watch to see the latest. For example, natural compounds Vitamin D and indole 3 carbinol and DIM have been shown to be effective as part of a programme against TNBC. Vitamin D because it can block the negative effects of BRCA1 impairment. Indole 3 carbinol because it blocks the p27 cancer pathway. Curcumin has been shown to reduce the damage caused by HRT. Carotenoids, curcumin and fish oils reduce the risk of return. Resveratrol, curcumin, piperine, EGCG in green tea and several other natural compounds have been shown to stop cancer stem cells from re-growing. 
There are also complementary therapies that can help, specifically with chemo. For example, Vitamin K has been shown in Japanese and US research to reduce the dangers of spread to the liver. Milk thistle and mistletoe have been shown to reduce the toxic load in the liver during radio or chemotherapy.
So, there are really positive developments on diet with TNBC:

Go to: Seven natural Compounds that fight TNBC 

Treatment for anaemia: Managing and counteracting anaemia can reducedeath from anaemia by 50 per cent. Research published by the Cochrane Collaboration showed that epoetins (alfa and beta epoetin) show significant survival benefits. Particularly striking were the results for patients with solid tumours (Breast, lung, colon) where risk of death decreased by 51 per cent). In a second study (European Soc. For Medical Oncology- 31st Oct 2005) epotin beta was shown to reduce risk of tumour progression in patients with anaemia. 

Treatment for fatigue: icon has run several pieces on fatigue. A qualified naturopath will be able to suggest dietary changes to boost energy levels. Qualified homeopaths may be able to suggest ways to counter fatigue. Energy therapists (e.g. acupuncture, cranial osteopaths, Reiki Masters) may well be able to help. Italian research showed a lack of acetyl-carnitine, which supplementation could correct. UCLA scientist report that a series of genetic markers become blocked either due to the cancer or due to the chemotherapy treatment. The California team note promising results with Etanercept. Apparently 30 per cent of women who have had chemo for breast cancer have long-term fatigue, even after the cancer has gone. This may well be true for other cancers.
Complementary therapies for Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Alternative therapies for Triple Negative Breast Cancer 

CANCERactive is Europe’s Number 1 Integrative Cancer Charity. This website alone has more than 4,000 pages of information on it, either as articles or as news stories. More than 10,000 people visit our websites every day. We know from the feed-back we receive just how much we are valued by people trying to beat cancer. 

We believe you can increase your personal odds of cancer survival by taking simple health-enhancing steps and adding both complementary cancer therapies and alternative cancer therapies into your mix of treatments. 

For example, Hyperbaric Oxygen, curcumin, calorie restriction, melatonin, probiotics and whole body hyperthermia have all been shown in research to make chemotherapy work better. It kills more cells! The research is covered on this website. Surely it makes a lot of sense to use them in your personal cancer treatment programme?

We have a complete review of Immunotherapy telling you the accurate figures and what to watch out for. We tell you what is working and when two new drugs have been used, rather than one. It’s a new, emerging and alternative cancer therapy, but not fully there yet!

Go to: A complete review of Immunotherapy  

Then we have an article on how to improve the success of your radiotherapy (and reduce the potential side-effects) – all by adding complementary therapies. Our Guidelines on Diet and Exercise can be found through this link:

Go to: CANCERactive Guidelines on Diet and exercise 

Our recommended anti-cancer diet is the colourful Mediterranean Diet (with its focus on the French paradox):  

Go to: The Rainbow Diet

Like Hippocrates, we believe all cancer begins in the gut and that gut problems, yeast, viral and parasite infections are common constituents of cancer.

Go to: All cancer begins in the gut

But if you just want to look at the most comprehensive list of Complementary Therapies you can find it here:

Go to: CANCERactive Complementary and Integrative cancer therapies

And if you want alternative cancer therapies start here:

Go to: CANCERactive Alternative cancer therapies 

Finally, if you want all this put together for you in one simple plan, why not look into having a Personal Prescription?

Go to: Personal Prescriptions with Chris Woollams

We don’t take one penny from any Pharmaceutical company, cancer clinic or supplements company. We have no vested interest. We just want to see you beat cancer. 

"If you are already thinking of supplementing with any of the above products, why not take a look at Our Natural Selection by clicking here."



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