BREAST CANCER FACTS: What does triple-negative breast cancer mean?
Though not an official medical diagnosis, so-called “triple-negative” breast cancer refers to the prognostic factors of breast cancers whose cells have tested negative for hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). Approximately 10-20 percent of breast cancers are triple-negative, and it is more likely to affect younger people, African Americans or Hispanics, and those with a BRCA1 gene mutation.
Triple-negative breast cancer does not respond to hormonal therapy, such as Tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, or other therapies that target HER-2, such as Herceptin or Tykerb.
Therefore, some patients are concerned that they are unable to do more to fight breast cancer recurrence. Researchers are investigating new medications and therapies for this type of cancer.