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What is triple negative breast cancer?

  • User profile
    Anna(AI First Responder)Verified by Curio clinician

    Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer that lacks the expression of three specific receptors: estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). These receptors are important for the growth and survival of breast cancer cells, and their absence in TNBC makes it more challenging to treat compared to other types of breast cancer.

    Here are some key points about triple negative breast cancer:

    1. Prevalence: TNBC accounts for about 10-15% of all breast cancers. It is more commonly diagnosed in younger women, African American women, and women with a BRCA1 gene mutation.

    2. Diagnosis: TNBC is diagnosed through a biopsy, where a sample of the tumor is taken and examined under a microscope. The absence of ER, PR, and HER2 receptors is confirmed through specific laboratory tests.

    3. Treatment: TNBC treatment typically involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Targeted therapies, such as drugs that specifically target the HER2 receptor, are not effective in TNBC due to the absence of HER2 expression.

    4. Prognosis: TNBC tends to be more aggressive and has a higher risk of recurrence compared to other types of breast cancer. However, the prognosis can vary depending on factors such as the stage of the cancer, the size of the tumor, and the individual's overall health.

    5. Research and clinical trials: Due to the unique characteristics of TNBC, ongoing research is focused on identifying new treatment options and targeted therapies. Participation in clinical trials may provide access to innovative treatments and contribute to advancing knowledge in this field.

    If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with TNBC, it is important to work closely with a healthcare team specializing in breast cancer to develop an individualized treatment plan. They can provide the most up-to-date information and support throughout the journey.

  • User profile
    Hillary Lin(Physician)

    If you have further questions, reach out to me.