‘March 3 is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day’
Breast cancer is the second most frequently occurring pathology worldwide. Out of which triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents 10 to 15% of all identified breast cancer cases. This cancer type is far different from the other types of breast cancer. This is the reason the treatment regimen is also different for this breast cancer type.
For instance, medicines like trastuzumab used to treat HER2 positive breast cancer and tamoxifen for treating estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer are not helpful in case of TNBC. This type of cancer requires different types of chemotherapy. But why? What is TNBC, who gets this and how to tackle this problem? To know all these questions, let’s read further:
What is triple negative breast cancer?
TNBC is defined by breast cancer which doesn’t contain any of the receptors that are otherwise found in other types of breast cancer forms. TNBC is found to be tested negative for estrogen & progesterone receptors and hormone epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2), hence named triple-negative.
Subtypes of triple negative breast cancer
TNBC have following subtypes:
- Basal-like 1 and 2
- Luminal androgen-receptor
- Mesenchymal and mesenchymal stem-like
Who is at risk of triple negative breast cancer?
TNBC is more probably to affect females who:
- BRCA1 gene mutation: The women with this genetic mutation have traits to develop TNBC more than other people.
- Young Age: This type of cancer is majorly found to occur in women of age less than 40 years.
- Races: The behind some races have a high tendency of getting TNBC is unknown. But, Hispanic and African-American races known to suffer from this condition more commonly than Asians and Causians females.
Other than this, the women with low breastfeeding rates, excess weight in abdomen area and high fertility rate also known to have higher rates of TNBC.
Signs & symptoms of triple negative breast cancer
The signs and symptoms of TNBC are the same as of other breast cancer types. These include:
- Hard or large lymph node beneath the arm
- Lump in the breast
- Nipples turn inwards
- Discharge from nipples
- Dimpling or other changes in breast
Prognosis of triple negative breast cancer
TNBC is known to spread faster than other forms. The women suffering from TNBC found to have 16 percent less possibility of surviving upto 5 years following the diagnosis, as compared to other breast cancer types.
Some features cause cancer to be more aggressive as compared to the rest of forms, as a result poorer prognosis. Although, many TNBC patients are treated efficiently.
Triple negative breast cancer treatment
Chemotherapy is considered to be the first priority for treating TNBC cancer cell lines. The patients at early stage can also be treated with neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy.
Neoadjuvant therapy is prescribed in TNBC treatment by reason of its high clinical success rate in abating growth of tumor before the surgery. For treating metastatic TNBC, FDA approved chemotherapeutic combinations.
Doctors evaluate every aspect of your disease and recommend the treatment course as per the diagnosis.