Understanding Triple Negative Breast Cancer

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One of the audience questions I frequently hear asked at conferences relates to treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. As we know by now, breast cancer is not one form of cancer, but many different “subtypes” of cancer.These subtypes are generally diagnosed based upon the presence, or lack of, three “receptors” known to fuel most breast cancers: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2.The case with triple negative is that none of these receptors are found. In other words, a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis means that the offending tumor is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative and HER2-negative, thus giving rise to the name “triple negative breast cancer.” As my own cancer is ER-positive, I confess that my knowledge of triple negative breast cancer is more limited. However, I am indebted to A rural woman’s breast cancer journal for an excellent posting on the subject and a link to TNBC, a website dedicated to Triple Negative Breast Cancer.