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LYME DISEASE TO TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER - Is there a link?

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 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease from tick bite/s contracted in 2003 and 2005 see my story in right hand column of the web version of this blog.

My daily symptoms have been noticeable by inflammation just about everywhere but variable. 

I have tried a variety of treatment and combination treatment over the years many helped but none cured daily symptoms.

I have had gall bladder removed, appendix removed and hospitalised with pneumonia in 2019 found to have Bronchiectasis and I developed diverticulitis in recent years.

I found a breast lump in January 2021 and had a mastectomy in February 2021( no lymph node involved) followed by a diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Chemo 4 x TC (Taxotere and Cyclophosphamide ) which was grim.

I had been referred to Chest Consultant following pneumonia in 2019 because of constant coughing which had gone hand in hand with my Lyme journey. Certain antibiotics relieved symptoms most especially Bactrim/ Septra/Co-Trimoxazole call it what you like. This is medication which can be used in treating Lyme so double benefit but try getting a doctor to prescribe on NHS. Despite constant request chest consultant would not prescribe without evidence of bacterial infection and as I struggled to cough out sufficient for a sputum sample she decided to do an investigation to remove samples from my lungs. Prior to this she arranged a scan of my chest. This scan showed swollen lymph nodes in my right lung and bronchial branch entering right lung. I was referred back to Breast Consultant in view of history of TNBC. The needle biopsy wasn’t sufficient to define what type of cancer I had  TNBC or a different lung cancer which might be treated differently.  I was referred to St Georges for a mediastinoscopy. I was given my results yesterday and it is a Triple Negative Breast Cancer metastasis.

One of the first things I read about TNBC metastasis was even with treatment prognosis was not much more than a year and without treatment maybe 3 months.

Everyone who has seen me in the NHS has been lovely but it took from December 2021 until June 2022 6 months to be referred for chemo therapy – unacceptable.

I am waiting to hear what Oncology will offer but I know there are no good treatments for TNBC.

I joined a Facebook group Triple Negative Warriors UK   which is a lovely group of ladies sharing their journeys and treatments, but so very sad to hear so many young mums struggling to survive this dreadful cancer. At 72 I am lucky to have had a good life.


19 years struggling with inflammation so no real surprise to end up with cancer, but I was aware of research Eva Sapi was involved with:-

Effect of Invasion of Borrelia burgdorferi in Normal and Neoplastic Mammary Epithelial Cells


Abstract

Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme Disease, is known to be able to disseminate and colonize various organs and tissues of its hosts, which is very crucial for its pathogenicity and survival. Recent studies have shown the presence of B. burgdorferi DNA in various breast cancer tissues, in some with poor prognosis, which raises the question about whether B. burgdorferi can interact with mammary epithelial cells and could have any effect on their physiology, including tumorigenic processes. As the model in this study, we have used MCF 10A normal and MDA-MB-231 tumorigenic mammary epithelial cells and infected both cell lines with B. burgdorferi. Our immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy results showed that B. burgdorferi is capable of invading normal epithelial and breast carcinoma cell lines within 24 h; however, the infection rate for the breast carcinoma cell lines was significantly higher. While the infection of epithelial cells with B. burgdorferi did not cause any changes in cell proliferation rates, it showed a significant effect on the invasion and migratory capacity of the breast cancer cells, but not on the normal epithelial cells, as determined by Matrigel invasion and wound healing assays. We have also found that the levels of expression of several epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers (fibronectin, vimentin, and Twist1/2) changed, with a significant increase in tissue remodeling marker (MMP-9) in MDA-MB-231 cells demonstrated by quantitative Western blot analyses. This observation further confirmed that B. burgdorferi infection can affect the in vitro migratory and invasive properties of MDA-MB-231 tumorigenic mammary epithelial cells. In summary, our results suggest that B. burgdorferi can invade breast cancer tumor cells and it can increase their tumorigenic phenotype, which urges the need for further studies on whether B. burgdorferi could have any role in breast cancer development.


In 2020 I had a sputum sample examined privately by dark field microscopy. This has revealed the presence of an unknown species of spirochaetes, which could be Treponema denticola but in view of Borrelia infection raises questions – of course the NHS will not investigate this.


These are slides Peter took of my sputum sample 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157713421759722


A must watch – AONM Webinar with Dr. Eva Sapi – Potential Connection of Borrelia Infection and Breast Cancer on the 12 July 2022 at 7pm. 

https://aonm.org/upcoming_events/



Source: https://lookingatlyme.blogspot.com/2022/06/lyme-disease-to-triple-negative-breast.html


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