A number of people privately asked me about the kind of cancer I have and my treatments, so I figured I would post it here since I’ve had the question a number of times.
I have what is called ‘triple-positive’ stage 3 breast cancer. The triple-positive refers to the fact that my cancer is stimulated by estrogen, progesterone and HER2 (short form for “human epidermal growth factor receptor 2” protein). About 20 years ago, being diagnosed with HER2-positive cancer was a death sentence. But, things have changed drastically since then due to the discovery of targeted therapies.
I found the following 2 articles helpful in explaining “triple-positive” and HER2-positive breast cancer in laymen’s terms:
Because I am triple-positive, I also have to be cognizant of what I eat since there are a number of foods that stimulate estrogen, progesterone and HER2 production. So, I need to limit my intake of many foods. The list is incredibly long and scary. It seems like everything I eat stimulates one of the hormones or protein. At the end of the day, the oncological dietician told me to eat a varied diet and focus on simply cutting out processed foods, otherwise I will starve and go nuts trying to figure out what I can / can’t eat. But who knew that too many berries, too many mushrooms or too much broccoli could make matters worse?!?
I also had a couple of questions re: my treatment and side effects but will write about those another time.