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Triple Negative Breast Cancer

If you or someone you care about is facing a diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer, it’s important to know that Norwalk Hospital is home to Connecticut’s only integrated treatment and research program focused on this form of breast cancer.

This means you have close-to-home access to an unparalleled level of truly leading-edge expertise for treating triple negative breast cancer, including an exciting new drug with breakthrough status from the FDA, and cutting-edge research to help find a cure.

In fact, through our collaboration with the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Linda Vahdat, MD, MBA, an internationally recognized expert in triple negative breast cancer, heads this initiative at Norwalk. Learn more about Dr. Vahdat.

In triple negative breast cancer, the three most common types of receptors known to promote most breast cancer growth—estrogen, progesterone and the HER2/neu gene—aren’t present in the tumor.

As a result, a triple negative tumor doesn’t respond to common breast cancer treatments that target estrogen, progesterone and the HER2/neu gene.

The good news, however, is that chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapies can be effective treatments for triple negative breast cancer. In fact, triple negative breast cancer may respond better to chemotherapy in the early stages than other forms of breast cancer—another reason why early detection and a deep understanding of this type of breast cancer are so crucial.

Norwalk Hospital offers you this level of expertise—and a whole lot more.

One of the strengths of the Norwalk Hospital triple negative breast cancer program is that here you have an entire team of clinical specialists on your side. This collaborative approach is exemplified by our breast cancer multidisciplinary tumor board meetings.

These tumor board multidisciplinary meetings is where complex patient cases and treatment options are discussed in significant detail by a team of medical oncologists, breast and reconstructive surgeons, radiation oncologists, researchers, geneticists and pathologists with specialized expertise in breast cancer. Together, they formulate and incorporate cutting-edge science into treatment recommendations tailored to your individual needs.

Your team also includes nurses, social workers, nutritionists, physical/occupational therapists, and an array of integrative medicine providers who are here to help you manage the emotional and psychosocial aspects of living with cancer, not just the medical side of things.

Importantly, you are the most important member of your cancer care team. Your needs and wishes are our first priority, always. 

Today there is a great deal happening when it comes to triple negative breast cancer treatment and research. Norwalk Hospital is on the cutting edge of these advances, thanks in large part to our collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the specialized expertise of our physicians.

As a result, you have local access to clinical trials that are investigating today’s most promising treatments for triple negative breast cancer, including novel drugs that haven’t yet been adopted but are poised to become  standard treatment.

One of these is a medication that the FDA has designated a Breakthrough Therapy for triple negative breast cancer. This means preliminary clinical evidence indicates that this drug demonstrates substantial improvement over existing therapies—and offers tremendous hope to patients with triple negative breast cancer.

And it’s right here, at Norwalk Hospital.

We understand that a diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer can be overwhelming and isolating. That’s why we offer a special support group just for patients who are dealing with triple negative breast cancer, and their families. It is facilitated by a social worker, and provides information, guidance and reassurance in a safe, supportive environment. There is no charge to participate.

For more information, please contact 866-642-9355.

In integrative medicine, traditional medicine is paired with other treatments to care for your mind, body and spirit, and enhance an overall sense of well-being. For example, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy to treat your cancer as well as acupuncture to help lessen its side effects.

The types of integrative medicine we offer at Norfolk Hospital include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal and supplement consultation
  • Massage
  • Nutritional consultation
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Tai chi

Learn more about integrative medicine at Norwalk Hospital.

Genetics plays a dual role in understanding the risk and guiding treatment of triple negative breast cancer. Research shows that a certain percentage of women with TNBC will have inherited gene mutations, including BRCA1 and BRCA2.

As a result, national guidelines recommend that all women and men with triple negative breast cancer receive genetic screening and counseling—which Norwalk Hospital provides. Screening is important for choosing effective therapies, predicting risk of future cancers, and helping family members understand their risk.

What’s more, looking at the DNA of each tumor helps doctors tailor treatment using targeted therapies. A targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells with less harm to normal cells. 

You don’t have to travel far to get the best of care. When it comes to treating triple negative breast cancer, Norwalk Hospital offers the most comprehensive and cutting-edge approach in the entire state. We’d be honored to care for you.

For more information, please call us at 866-642-9355.