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Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, and HER2-negative. Learn more about how common it is and how it's typically treated. Written by Jamie DePolo | Reviewed by 1 medical adviser | This information is provided by Breastcancer.org. What is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?


Triple-negative breast cancer is invasive breast cancer that is:


  • estrogen receptor-negative

  • progesterone receptor-negative

  • HER2-negative.


The cells in triple-negative breast cancer don’t have receptors for the hormones estrogen or progesterone and don’t make too much of the HER2 protein. So, triple-negative breast cancers don’t respond to hormonal therapy medicines or medicines that target the HER2 protein.


Who gets Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?


Triple-negative breast cancer is more common in:


  • ·Women younger than 40

  • Black women

  • Women who have a BRCA1 mutation


According to the American Cancer Society, triple-negative breast cancer represents 10% of breast cancers overall, but nearly 20% among Black women, who are affected more than any other group.


Common features of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer


Triple-negative breast cancer is usually more aggressive, harder to treat, and more likely to come back (recur) than cancers that are hormone receptor-positive or HER2-positive. The symptoms, staging,

diagnosis, and survivorship care for triple-negative breast cancer are the same as other invasive ductal carcinomas.




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