For a long time, breast cancer was thought to be a single disease with its severity determined by the size and spread of the tumor. Through clinical and histological research we now understand that breast cancer is comprised of many more distinct diseases – all with various characteristics and prognoses - and treatments.
A diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) means that discovered cancer cells have none of the typically tested for estrogen receptors, HER 2 proteins or progesterone receptors on their cell surface. Accounting for about 15% of all breast cancers, women in the TNBC category tend to be younger than age 40, black, or who have the BRCA1 genetic mutation.
Traditionally, this type of cancer tends to spread more aggressively than other invasive breast cancers, so early detection is important for controlling this disease. Overall, survival estimates are based on large population studies and do not necessarily predict what will happen in a certain individual’s case.
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