“Triple Negative Breast Cancer” A special type of breast Cancer
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of tissues in the Breast leading to the formation of a mass beneath the skin of breast that may invade nearby tissues and metastasize into distant body parts to form a new tumor as in brain or bones.
So, what is triple negative breast cancer?
To answer the question “what is triple negative breast cancer”, you should know something about breast cancer cells. Usually, cancer cells of breast respond to many agents that lead to its growth and division or may lead to its death. Breast Cancer cells have receptor for many agents that cause its growth. Three of these receptors are:
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones within female body that is responsible for the growth of breast and its development for breastfeeding. While HER2 is a receptor for growth factor that is responsible for cell growth and division. These receptors are overexpressed in Breast Cancer cells.Chemotherapeutic agents used to treat best cancer usually target those receptors for specifically kill cancer cells without killing normal tissue cells.
Triple negative breast cancer is a special type of cancer that has no receptor for estrogen, progesterone or HER2.that makes this type of cancer resistant to many chemotherapeutic agents that target these receptors and have fast development and the worst prognosis.
Triple negative breast cancer statistics?
Triple negative breast cancer statistics are:
- Cancer type that has receptor for hormones (estrogen and progesterone) composes 75-80% of all breast cancer cases.
- Cancer type that has receptor for HER2 composes 15-20% of all breast cancer cases and half of them show receptors for hormones.
Breast cancer triple negative is responsible for the rest percent of breast cancer (10-15%).
Triple negative breast cancer symptoms
Triple negative breast cancer symptoms are typically identically to other types of breast cancer which include:
Lumps in breast.
They are palpable masses beneath breast skin that may be solid or containing fluid. They can be detected by self-exam or mammogram.
Changes in breast size or shape.
An increase or decrease in breast size and a change in skin of breast like: scaling, pitting or redness may occur as a sign of breast cancer.
Changes in the feel of the nipple and breast.
Nipple of breast may be inverted inward or has redness or scaling.
Nipple fluid discharge.
Fluid discharge from nipples may occur which may be yellowish or bloody.
Triple negative breast cancer treatment
Triple negative breast cancer treatment options are limited as this type of cancer not responds to hormonal or anti HER2 receptor drugs so they can’t be used as treatment for triple negative breast cancer so the only effective triple negative breast cancer treatment is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy for triple negative breast cancer includes:
- Anthracycline- and anthracycline/taxane.
- Platinum agents.
- Cetuximab plus carboplatin.
- Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors.
For more information about PARP inhibitors as a treatment for triple negative breast cancer see:
Triple negative breast cancer prognosis?
The triple negative breast cancer prognosis is worse among younger women than among old women.
Factors affecting prognosis:
Triple negative breast cancer has higher incidence rate within nonwhite women than that in white women.
The grade of tumor is closely related to prognosis of tumor. Stage 3 triple negative breast cancer has better prognosis than stage 4 triple negative breast cancer which is called metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Triple negative metastatic breast cancer has the worst prognosis among all types of breast cancer where the cancer has developed and travelled into distant body parts like brain, bone or lung.
Treatment with chemotherapy.
Treatment of triple negative breast cancer with chemotherapy increases the survival rate and leads to good prognosis.
Triple negative breast cancer survival rate?
Triple negative breast cancer survival rate is usually short due the aggressive nature of this special type of cancer and its high resistance to treatment. Triple negative breast cancer survival rates for 5 years tend to be low. In a study involving 50,000 women or more suffering from breast cancer at different stages, it was found that percent of triple negative breast cancer survivors for 5 year were about 77%, while survivors of other types was 93%. In one other study of 1,600 women it was found that triple negative breast cancer life expectancy was low for 5 years with increasing in mortality.
Triple negative breast cancer recurrence rate?
Triple negative breast cancer recurrence rate is higher than any other type of cancer. Usual cancer types can recur within 10-20 years of treatment while triple negative breast cancer can recur within 3-5 years.
Due to the danger of this special type of cancer, a new foundation named triple negative breast cancer foundation was setup for tracking this disease and providing triple negative breast cancer cell lines to researcher to develop a new treatment for it and supplying all needed materials to make triple negative breast cancer clinical trials. This foundation also holds campaigns and distribute brochures for increasing the awareness of this disease hoping in increasing its survival rate and decreasing mortality.