Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Triple negative breast cancer is a type of breast cancer that does not have three of the most common types of receptors associated with breast cancer present in the cancer tumor. These receptors include a protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). When these receptors are present in the breast cancer, doctors have the ability to use targeted therapy to help destroy cancer cells. However, with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), this is not a capability because these hormone receptors are not driving the growth of the cancer. Fortunately, chemotherapy is still an effective option for patients diagnosed with TNBC and is commonly used in these cases.

Triple negative breast cancer occurs in 10-15% of diagnosed breast cancers, and more commonly affects younger women (under 40), African Americans, Hispanics, and those with a BRCA1 gene mutation. TNBC can be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer and there are fewer treatment options. The stage and grade of the cancer determines the prognosis and best treatment options for each case.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign is a painless, hard mass in the breast. However, in some cases of TNBC, there are no symptoms at all. Other less common symptoms can include:

  • Changes in the skin of the breast
  • Lumps or masses felt in the armpit
  • Changes in the nipple

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment Options

For breast cancer patients, it is common to have the lump in the breast removed (lumpectomy) or have the entire breast (mastectomy) removed. However, there are also other treatment options that target cells that cannot be seen or removed with surgery. These include radiation therapy and chemotherapy:

  • Radiation therapy: high-energy radiation is used to kill cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy: the use of chemical substances to kill cancer cells

TNBC Treatment Side Effects

TNBC patients should expect some side effects from treatment. Treatment can take a toll on the body. Some side effects that patients may experience include:

  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Lymphedema (swelling of the arms or legs)
  • Skin changes
By Cancer Clinical Trial Specialist Breast Cancer Pros Blog 0 Comments


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *