Triple negative no chemo, questions

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Hi everyone, I posted this on the general breast cancer forum but someone suggested that I post it here in this group, which I didn't know about. I hope it's ok to post this here. This is what I wrote: 

Hi. My mother aged 77 was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer last year and had surgery (lumpectomy and removal of lymph nodes). Her cancer was graded 3C (I believe) as she had cancer in 20 out of 21 lymph nodes. She then had one session of chemotherapy but became severely neutropenic and spent a week in hospital with sepsis. They told her she would not be able to have any more chemo because of this. She then had radiotherapy without major complications. Her scans this summer were free of any recurrence.

I'm somewhat worried because I know that triple negative breast cancer is aggressive and likely to recur, and my mother did not have a full course of chemotherapy. If the cancer recurs I don't see what the treatment options would be since she can't have chemo so if that were to happen I don't think she would live long. All the stuff I have read talks about chemo for this type of cancer and doesn't seem to mention any other options. In addition, she wasn't tested for the BRCA gene mutation so I don't know if I should be concerned about myself, although there is no family history of breast cancer but my mum has no sisters and neither do I. 

Does anyone have any actual information about treating triple negative breast cancer without chemotherapy?

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it. 

  • Hello Fanu, my mum is 88 and had triple negative breast cancer a couple of years ago.  

    First time around they went straight to surgery, as chemo was considered too harsh for mum and they didn't mention radiotherapy as they hoped to get everything with surgery (she had a second surgery to remove more lymph nodes).  I am not sure why they didn't follow up with radiotherapy then, as that seems to be commonly done, but they said mum was all clear.

    Unfortunately this year after septic arthritis and covid almost finished mum off, she's been told the cancer is back and has spread.  Mum, being the fighter she is, was only interested in hearing what treatment options were open to her and they offered radiotherapy.  She's had 10 sessions, and may have a further 10, but we haven't had any results yet.

    My mum is much older and probably frailer than your mum so I'm sure there are more treatment options open to her.  I hope someone with more knowledge of chemo will come along and reply soon, perhaps there are other drug options as well.  Wishing you all the very best and sending lots of love.