Approximately 15% to 20% of women with breast cancer have a form that is often referred to as “Triple Negative Breast Cancer.” This name is used because women with this form of breast cancer do not have any of the three receptors (Estrogen Receptors, Progesterone Receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2)) that characterize most forms of breast cancer. Often, this form of breast cancer is very aggressive and fast growing. It is also harder to detect on a mammogram and recurs more often than other types of breast cancer. Since this specific type of breast cancer does not respond to treatments that target these receptors (Tamoxifen and Herceptin), treatment options are more limited.
However, a report that was presented at the 2012 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition showed new promise for patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. The report looked at the cancer-fighting potential of the new vegetable compound, C-substituted diindolylmethane (C-DIM). This compound which is rich in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and brussels sprouts, showed promise for use in treatment of patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. One of the study’s authors, Mandip Sachdeva, PhD from Florida A&M University noted the following:
We are confident that the compounds we are currently working with are an effective treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. He also noted that this vegetable compound is safer and has less side effects than other treatments that are currently being used.
Early detection is still one of the best tools we have in fighting all types of breast cancers. If you have questions about your risks for developing breast cancer or how often you should be receiving a mammogram or other screening tests, schedule an appointment with your Gynecologist today.