This slide has examples of the receptors that are utilized to determine the best treatment for the different subtypes of breast cancer. Knowing the cancer’s receptors helps to know the tendencies of the cancer’s behavior, it’s preferred fuel, the places where the cancer might spread, and so many other things that help us manage a life with breast cancer.
I fit into the most prevalent (70%) subtype and I’ve been on some method of hormone blocking ever since my initial breast surgery and even after my radical hysterectomy and oophorectomy in 2017. This means I am in full menopause and any remaining estrogen is being actively blocked. Because the estrogen fuels the rogue cancer cells.
This is a good example of why breast cancer is so complicated — no two tumors are exactly alike, even when both tumors are inside one person’s body. How our bodies respond and how the cancer inside our bodies respond is just wildly different. Attempting to compare experiences or time on a specific medication just isn’t feasible — it’s never apples to apples.
Knowing about the cancer in our bodies is important and asking questions is important.
Will you each do something for me today?
Will you go to someone you know with breast or who had breast cancer and ask them about their receptors? Not only do patients need to know this information, it’s a good way to show someone you know that you care about their experiences.
And when we care, we do something.