Hear about advancements in treatment options at Henry Ford in our half hour episode: Breast Cancer's Last StandWatch Now
Breast cancer’s last stand: Triple negative breast cancer
Every year Kay Bussey is vigilant about her annual mammogram. This year was different. Her doctor recommended an ultrasound, and then a biopsy.
“It was reality that I had cancer. I needed to figure out where to go from there,” remembers Kay.
Kay’s search for a breast cancer team led her to the Henry Ford Breast Cancer Program, led by Lisa A. Newman, M.D. MPH.
As part of the multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic, Kay met with Dr. Newman and the entire breast cancer team in a single, one-day visit.
After meeting with Kay, Dr. Newman recommended a lumpectomy due to the small size of Kay’s tumor. Lumpectomy is a breast-conserving procedure.
Based on the type of breast cancer Kay had, called triple negative breast cancer, surgery was just the first step in Kay’s treatment journey. Triple negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of the disease that disproportionally affects African American women and young patients.
“We can take a deeper look into the genetic machinery of cancer and go beyond the size of the tumor or the lymph node information, and figure out not only the aggressive nature of the cancer, but ways to intervene and to interrupt the ability for that cancer to metastasize (spread to other organs in the body),” says Dr. Lisa Newman.
With triple negative breast cancer, chemotherapy, followed by radiation therapy, would be a very important part of Kay’s treatment, notes Dr. Newman.
Watch the rest of Kay’s journey in Minds of Medicine: Breast Cancer’s Last Stand.