Individuals with breast cancer are referred to as having metastatic triple-negative breast cancer disease when tumors have spread outside of the breast and lymph nodes and the cancer tumor does not have the three common breast cancer receptors, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor or human epidermal growth factor receptor.
Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer (mTNBC)
Lobular Breast Cancer
Lobular breast cancer is a distinct subtype of breast cancer.
Invasive Lobular cancer (ILC) has specific molecular features distinct from ductal breast cancer. with its own uniques subtypes and variants. Lobular presents differently in the breast.
At most points in the treatment process, you can talk to your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. Some treatments will make you ineligible for some clinical trials later on, so it's a good idea to find out your clinical trial options early in your treatment process.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is a type of breast cancer in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, causing it to become red and swollen.
How is inflammatory breast cancer diagnosed?
Inflammatory breast cancer progresses very quickly, and at diagnosis, is considered either stage III or IV. Because there is often no lump present in the breast, this type of cancer can be difficult to diagnose through a physical examination or mammogram.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer that does not have any of the receptors that are commonly found in other types of breast cancer. It is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, and HER2-negative. Every cancer diagnosis is unique, but in general, triple-negative breast cancer is a more aggressive type of tumor with a faster growth rate, higher risk of metastasis, and recurrence risk.
HER2 Positive (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive)
HER2-positive breast cancer cells have a high amount of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 genes and HER2 proteins on cancer cells.
How is HER2-positive breast cancer diagnosed?
A lab test will measure the presence of HER2 receptor proteins on the cancer cells and how much HER2 protein is being made in a tissue sample.
Hormone Receptor Positive (ER+, PR+, or both)
Hormone receptors are proteins on the surface of all cells, including normal breast cells and some breast cancer cells, that help to mediate how hormones such as estrogen interact with cells; they may also stimulate cell growth.
Breast cancer cells can overexpress (be positive for) either estrogen receptors (ER+), progesterone receptors (PR+), or both.
DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ)
DCIS is a noninvasive condition referring to abnormal cells in the lining of the breast duct that have not spread to other tissues. It is possible for DCIS to become invasive cancer and spread to other parts of the body, so treatment can reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
Treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Triple negative breast cancer is hormone receptor negative (ER- and PR-) and HER2 negative, which disqualifies it from being treated with most targeted therapies and hormone therapies. This kind of cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy, sometimes in the neoadjuvant (pre-surgery) setting, although more research is needed to determine if neoadjuvant chemo actually improves response.
Targeted Therapy (for HER2+ breast cancer)
Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer. Targeted therapies select specific cells to attack, leaving healthy cells alone. They are often used with other types of therapy suited to specific types of breast cancer.