In 1970, triple-negative breast cancer was used to describe breast cancers that were negative for all three of the main breast cancer markers: estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).
Today, triple-negative breast cancer is used to describe breast cancers that have no expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor or HER2.
Triple-negative breast cancer makes up about 10 to 15 percent of breast cancers, but less than 5 percent of all breast cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute. While triple-negative breast cancer is more aggressive than other breast cancers, patients with triple-negative breast cancer can still benefit from treatments such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy therapies.
“I would say that the future is bright for triple-negative breast cancer. We now have new treatment strategies that we didn’t have available before that definitely seem to be benefiting patients with triple-negative disease,” declared Dr. Erica Mayer.
Triple-negative illness is a single type of breast cancer since there are no receptors for medication therapy. Breast cancer cells can contain three distinct receptor types – estrol, progesterone and HER2 – each of which is like a lock on a house’s front door. The secret to these locks is the many hormonal or pharmaceutical treatments that can penetrate cancer cells and destroy them. But these 3 kinds of receptors do not exist in triple-negative breast cancer, thus the term is.It makes it more difficult than different breast cancers when it comes to treatment.
In addition to risk factors, lifestyle also plays an important role in breast cancer development. Regular exercise and eating well-balanced meals is important for overall health, but women who get regular exercise and eat well-balanced diets are at lower risk for breast cancer.
Women who maintain healthy body weights, quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption and limit their intake of alcohol-fortified beverages also lower their breast cancer risk.