Home Supporting someone with breast cancer

Treatment options? Trials?

Concerned daughterConcerned daughter Member Posts: 9
Mum has been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She has had breast removal and of the 11 lympth nodes removed 8 tested positive. Scans have not revealed any secondary cancers. She begins three weekly chemo treatment for three months followed by weekly chemo for three months with radiotherapy planned after that. 
There are so many different drugs types it i hard to be reassured there is not more we can be doing.
The oncologist is dismissive when questioned, stating treatment being given is the best to treat mums cancer. I keep reading  about new drugs and trials and wonder if anyone has more information or where i can find out more.

Mums attitude positive in front of me but she appears to be planning for treatment to not work. She is a realist so this is understandable but can anyone give me an idea as to if the worst happens are we talking months or years? I dont want her to make changes in her life too soon when i believe keeping things as normal as possible to be the best for her state of mind.

Any advice or information welcome.


  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,406
    The trials for TNBC are for women with metastatic disease. I believe the regime ACT is the current treatment standard for your Mum's diagnosis and stage. You could seek a second opinion which might give you some reassurance and even discuss concerns with your Mum's breast care nurse as they are a wealth of info. We all hope we are doing the best we can and it is confusing why we are given different chemo regimes. Know that oncologist base their decisions on years of clinical trials and statistics to know which is the best option for your Mum. Best of luck. Kath x
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,773
    Hi Concerned daughter, Welcome to the network. It's early days for your mum treatment wise and she is probably scared stupid and just dealing with this any way she can. Everything happens so quickly at first that you are just in a cancer whirlwind. It does slow down and a normality does creep in slowly. The whole cancer experience is very confronting not only for your mum but for you too and it forces us to face our own mortality - I know I certainly hadn't thought about it prior to diagnosis. My response was to start cleaning and decluttering :D. I personally found that as time progresses I think more about what plans I can make for my future - my long happy fulfilled future. As for trials here is the link to the Australian Clinical Trials website https://www.australianclinicaltrials.gov.au which will give you more information about how to look for trials and any that are currently occurring. As for your mum making changes in her life, she is dealing with an incredible amount of overwhelming things at the moment, try and give her some space, her state of mind may change as she progresses through her treatment and she will need you there supporting her decisions. You already show that you are incredibly caring and supportive and know that we are here to support and help you through this as well as your mum. Take care and let us know how you both are doing.Xx Cath

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,374
    Hi as the ladies have already said it is a tumultuous time. As Kath said earlier the medical team have the best possible plan for your Mum. They become a big part of your lives as initially it is all consuming with tests and varying appointments. You will both learn terms and drugs you had never heard of let alone know how to spell. Remember Dr Google is a guide it is the opinion of the real Drs that count. Does your Mum have a Breast care nurse as she is the go between. 
    Take care 

  • Concerned daughterConcerned daughter Member Posts: 9
    Thankyou so much. I did take mum to engage with the Cancer Wellness Centre and Breast Cancer WA but then the Xmas break kicked in. Whilst mum is usually a but standoffish she felt comfortable with the ladies there so I will get her to reengage with them once they return in the new year. Thanks so much for the trial link. It is something i will refer to as well as ensuring the oncologist knows mum would be keen to be part of anything which may improve her chances. It is a long daunting road we are facing so appreciate the support
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,396
    Don't worry, its usually not just one oncologist who decides what treatment. They usually have an online conference for each patient between a few nearby hospitals. Your mum might be one of the ones whose body really responds well to that particular treatment but sometimes you get a stubborn cancer and then the oncologists have to figure out another plan of attack. Your mum is a LONG way off dying, even though during chemo side effects she will think she is. I remember those day by day surviving days. She will get through it though.
    I used to take my lap top to chemo. They do have extra power plugs behind the chairs. Get a wi fi modem and you are set. Use the time to teach your mum the internet. Make her an email. Lookout, she might really take to it and be a face book junkie like me lol. 
  • Concerned daughterConcerned daughter Member Posts: 9
    Great idea! Mum and I were discussing what to do for the time we were there for chemo. I am loving the lived experiences shared and practical ideas this online forum is providing. 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,421
    Hi Concerned Daughter! I can't offer much in terms of being Triple Negative as I am ER+ only, but have had Breast Cancer twice in 4yrs. It was a savage blow and I underwent chemo this time round and no rads though as I already did that in 2011. Thing is its doable, and her Team absolutely know what is best in terms of treatment! Another suggestion is lots of ladies used to take music and their headphones in...I met a woman about 40 with triple Negative and she sang and danced in her chair!! Inspiring she was!!! There are lots of ladies on here with Triple Neg or metastic even with a wealth of knowledge, so step at a time and honestly keep communicating and asking questions. Hugs Melinda xo
Sign In or Register to comment.