We’re drilling down into more diagnostic detail this week about breast tissue biopsies and what each type of breast cancer tissue looks like under the microscope. Today we’re looking at triple-negative.
Why is it called triple–negative? Because it is diagnosed by discovering the absence of three receptors (which ‘fuel’ most breast cancers):
- Oestrogen receptors
- Progesterone receptors
- Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).
So basically, the offending tumour is found to be negative in three ways (oestrogen receptor-negative + progesterone receptor-negative + HER2-negative) thus the name of triple negative breast cancer!
But what does this all mean to me? In English, please!
The ‘negative’ results mean that the growth of the cancer is not supported by the hormones, oestrogen and progesterone — and neither by the presence of too many HER2 receptors. That’s why triple-negative breast cancer doesn’t respond to hormonal therapy (eg. Tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors etc.) or therapies that target HER2 receptors (eg. Herceptin, Tykerb etc.) However, there are positive treatments for this negative cancer!
A Triplet of Treatments:
We’ve collected together some phenomenal resources for you – so click on the links below to get reading — and then come join us on Facebook so you can share your own ideas, thoughts and advice with us!
- How Triple Negative Breast Cancer Behaves & Looks
- AMAZING community oriented blog/website by Living Beyond Breast Cancer, providing cutting edge research new, support and more! Click here!
- ***Downloadable & Printable PDF: Your Guide to Understanding Triple-Negative Breast Cancer***