How is triple-negative breast cancer different from other breast cancers?

Although triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) does not look different from other breast cancer, it has several unique characteristics, including:
  • Receptor status: Tests that detect receptors for estrogen, progesterone and HER2 will be negative, which means hormone therapy, a traditional breast cancer treatment, is not effective. Instead, triple-negative breast cancer treatment options include chemotherapy, targeted therapy and radiation.
  • More aggressive: A greater tendency to spread and recur after treatment compared to other breast cancer types. This risk decreases after the first few years following therapy.
  • Cell type and grade: Triple-negative breast cancer cells tend to be “basal-like,” meaning that they resemble the basal cells lining the breast ducts. The cells may also be higher grade, which means that they no longer resemble normal, healthy cells.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.