What is triple negative breast cancer?

Emailz
Answer Summary
1
Expert Answers

IBCResearchFoundation (Organization (Verified) ) - 09 / 10 / 2011

1 vote(s) by murray
Triple negative breast cancer is actually defined by what it's not. The tumor tissue does not over-express the hormones estrogen or progesterone (ER/PR) and also doesn't over-express the oncogene Her2/neu. There are targeted treatments available to block the estrogen receptor (ie: Tamoxifen, etc) and also targeted therapies to inactivate the Her2/neu oncogene (ie: Herceptin & Tykerb). These targeted therapies are not options for those with triple negative breast cancer. This means that chemotherapy agents are the primary treatment for those patients. Much of the medical literature indicates that triple negative breast cancers have a better response to chemotherapy but also have a higher recurrence rate in the years immediately following initial treatment. Triple negative breast cancers tend to be more aggressive in nature, are more common in younger women, and appear to be more common in African American women.

The term triple negative just refers to those three specific markers, not to other specifics of the cancer. Breast cancer is also defined as either ductal, lobular, mucinous, inflammatory, or other such distinctions. All of these types of breast cancer can be triple negative.

Triple negative breast cancers are receiving more attention in the research community and hopefully there will be specific drugable targets identified in this tumor group to improve prognosis.
2
Shared Experiences

raysingboyz (Current Patient) - 03 / 25 / 2011

Triple-negative breast cancer refers to any breast cancer that does not express the genes for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) or Her2/neu. The Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and Her2/neu are of the three things that are tested in diagnosing breast cancer as these are the sources that feed many breast cancers. Testing negative for all three of these common breast cancer links is what gives it the name "triple negative". This type of breast cancer is typically more aggressive and less responsive to standard treatments used in breast cancer patients. Younger women fall into this high risk subgroup of breast cancer. This is a website dedicated to more information and support on this topic: http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/

member9982 (Survivor (2 - 5 years)) - 09 / 07 / 2011

Triple Negative Breast Cancer was only identified in the past 6 or 7 years. Depending on the stage of its diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be more aggressive, and more likely to recur than other subtypes of breast cancers. In most breast cancers, the most successful treatments for breast cancer targets the three receptors mentioned above. Because of its triple negative status, however, a triple negative tumor generally does not respond to receptor targeted treatments. Triple negative tumors can grow quickly so appropriate treament is important. On a positive note, however, this type of breast cancer is typically responsive to chemotherapy and many respond well to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. (mine did!)
Join Now to ask a follow-up question or share your experience!
We'll help guide and support you through treatments.
Similar Questions
What are the different subtypes of triple negative breast cancer and does the subtype affect treatment?
For stage 4 triple negative breast cancer, what is the typical first line of treatment?
How is the treatment for triple negative breast cancer different than other types?
What chemotherapy did you have to treat your triple negative breast cancer? And what were the worst side effects for you?
If I have early stage triple-negative breast cancer, is it still okay to have breast conserving therapy?
Note: All content on this site is informational and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding your health.
Note: Usernames have been made anonymous and profile images are not shown to protect the privacy of our members.
Flag Content
Please explain why you are flagging this content. Thank you.
Thank you for flagging this content. We will look into it right away.
Give a 'Thank you' to
Close
Talk About Health
Add Answer

Close
1) Question:
2) Background Info (optional): What context or background information is relevant to this request?
Notes:
The more clear and thorough your request, the more likely you will receive support.
Many of our members are learning from this information or english might not be their first language. Please use standard english and spell out all words. For example, use 'you' instead of 'u'.
Close
Talk About Health
Please join TalkAboutHealth and you will be able to ask questions.
Newsletters
Close
Subscribe to our free updates for the latest news, best answers and featured experts!
Your Email:
Q&A Workshop Announcements
(Featured experts, answers, tips, & latest news.)
Q&A Workshop Summaries
(Answer summaries from our expert Q&A workshops.)
Best of TalkAboutHealth (weekly)
(The week's best answers, news & support.)
TalkAboutHealth Benefits
(Custom health, wellness & medical promotions from our partners.)

Partners become a partner

© Copyright 2014 - Talk About Health - Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
x Don't show again
Like us on Facebook?