Today is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day. 3 survivors share their story
Today is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day, and some New Jersey women are turning their survival into an opportunity to prevent other women from losing their life to the deadliest form of breast cancer.
Three survivors who spoke to News 12 say while TNBC tends to have the deadliest outcome, it has the least targeted treatment and that not only needs to change, more women need to learn about it.
"There's simply not enough awareness about it,” says patient Madhu Jodwani. “It's just a killer."
Jodwani was first diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer while less than three months pregnant.
She chose to get treatment and keep her baby, and what she's learned about Triple Negative Breast Cancer over the years helped her to catch the cancer at stage 0 when it came back in her other breast 11 years later.
Kelli Anderson owns the breast rehabilitation center where Jodwani is getting physical therapy after her second mastectomy. Anderson is also a Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor.
"I had a double mastectomy, eight rounds of chemo and I'm very lucky to still be here 17 years later,” says Anderson. "I did an aggressive surgery, an aggressive chemo -- you have to be as aggressive as you can toward this type of cancer. I remember when I heard triple negative I said, that sounds triple bad."
Melissa Berry is a survivor too. She's the board chair for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, which has set aside the month of March to teach women about this deadliest form of breast cancer.
"We are seeing way too many women die of Triple Negative Breast Cancer and that is exactly why the foundation does what we do today and that's raise awareness and funding for research because that is what we so desperately need,” says Berry. "For women in New Jersey, I say knowledge is power and have that kitchen table conversation. We have a special initiative at the foundation called pink table talk and it's really encouraging that kitchen table talk to find out if your grandmother had breast cancer, if your mother had breast cancer."
It's a lesson Jodwani's learned that saved her life.
About 15% of breast cancers diagnosed are triple-negative, and Black women are three times more likely to have it.
A yearly mammogram can help you to catch it early, and genetics testing can determine if you carry the gene.
For more information, click HERE.