Triple negative breast cancer is an uncommon type of breast cancer whose cells don’t have receptors for: the hormones 1. oestrogen 2. progesterone and 3. Her2 protein
Your doctor uses a sample of your cancer to test the cells for these receptors. You might have this testing following a biopsy of the cancer, or after surgery to remove it. A rare type of breast cancer known as basal type breast cancer is usually triple negative.
Some women with triple negative breast cancer also have a BRCA1 gene fault.
BRCA1 is one of the gene faults that can increase the risk of breast cancer within families.
Some men have triple negative breast cancer but this is very rare.
Most men have oestrogen receptors in their cancer cells.
Breast cancer receptors
Some cancer cells have particular proteins called receptors. When certain substances in the body attach to the receptors, they trigger a reaction in the cancer cells that tell them to grow. Oestrogen attaches to oestrogen receptors Progesterone attaches to progesterone receptors Her2 attaches to Her2 receptors Many breast cancers have receptors for one or more of these substances. But triple negative breast cancers don’t have any of them. So hormone treatment and the targeted cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) don't work for people with triple negative breast cancer. There are other drugs available to treat triple negative breast cancer.
Around 15 out of every 100 breast cancers (15%) are triple negative.
The symptoms of triple negative breast cancer are similar to other breast cancer types. Symptoms can include:
a new lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
a change in size, shape or feel of your breast
skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breast feeding
changes in the position of nipple
Make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice anything different or unusual about the look and feel of your breasts.
Share this trusted information.