WHAT IS TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER?
A diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer means that the three most common types of receptors known to fuel most breast cancer growth–estrogen, progesterone, and the HER-2/neu gene– are not present in the cancer tumor. This means that the breast cancer cells have tested negative for hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). Since the tumor cells lack the necessary receptors, common treatments like hormone therapy and drugs that target estrogen, progesterone, and HER-2 are ineffective. Using chemotherapy to treat triple negative breast cancer is still an effective option. In fact, triple negative breast cancer may respond even better to chemotherapy in the earlier stages than many other forms of cancer.
ARE YOU AT RISK?
About 15-20 percent of all breast cancers in the U.S.re d triple negative or basal-like. Anyone can get triple negative breast cancer. But, research has shown that it occurs more often in:
- Younger women
- African American women
- Hispanic/Latin women
- Women who have BRCA1 mutations
WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS FOR TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER?
Triple negative breast cancer can be more aggressive and difficult to treat. Also, the cancer is more likely to spread and recur. The stage of breast cancer and the grade of the tumor will influence your prognosis.
Approximately 15% of the 180,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer every year have triple-negative breast cancer. Younger pre menopausal women and black, Latina, and Asian women account for a disproportionately high percentage of women diagnosed with TNBC.