What Is The Stage Of Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Stages I-III triple-negative breast cancer. If the early-stage TNBC tumor is small enough to be removed by surgery, then breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy with a check of the lymph nodes may be done. In certain cases, such as with a large tumor or if the lymph nodes are found to have cancer, radiation may follow surgery.
Study Population And Data Collection
Population-based data were extracted from SEER database founded by National Cancer Institute. SEER database is an open-access resource for cancer-based epidemiology and survival analyses . Data access was authorized by SEER Program and acquired via Account 11417-Nov2015. Relevant case list was generated from SEER 18 incidence database . SEER*Stat software from the National Cancer Institute was used to identify eligible patients.
Risk Factors For Triple
Doctors arent sure what makes you more likely to get triple-negative breast cancer. Not many women do it only affects up to 20% of those who have breast cancer. Youre most at risk for triple-negative breast cancer if you:
- Are African-American or Latina
- Have what your doctor will call a BRCA mutation , especially the gene BRCA1
Read Also: High Risk Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
Early Recurrence Vs Late Recurrence
A recurrence of breast cancer at any time can be devastating. While 6% to 10% of breast tumors are diagnosed when the disease is already metastatic , 90% to 94% of metastatic breast cancers represent a distant recurrence of previous early-stage breast cancer .
Since distant metastases are responsible for around 90% of breast cancer deaths, finding ways to reduce the risk of recurrence is critical in improving the survival rate from the disease. Overall, its estimated that around 30% of breast cancers will recur at distant sites.
Risk Factors For Triple Negative Breast Cancer
TNBC is present disproportionally in some populations more than others. Rates of TNBC are higher among young women and these tumours tend to be more aggressive. Furthermore, for younger patients, the risk is lower for women who have breast-fed for at least a year compared to women who never breast fed.
Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene increases the risk of developing TNBC. Around 5-10% of people with breast cancer have a mutation of their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which, when performing normally, work by repairing the DNA preventing the accumulation of DNA damage which can lead to the formation of tumours.
In terms of prevention, similar risk reducing behaviours for all breast cancers could lower an individuals risk of developing TNBC such as a healthy diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors such as not smoking and limiting alcohol intake.
Read Also: Is Stage Two Breast Cancer Curable
I Have Triple Negative Breast Cancer What Can I Do To Help Myself
You already took the first step when you decided to help yourself. Many times cancer makes people feel as if theyve lost control of their lives. Committing to self-care is one way to overcome that feeling. Here are some things you can do during and after your treatment:
- Triple negative breast cancer is a rare and often misunderstood illness. Many people dont realize this cancer cant be treated the same as other breast cancers. As a result, you might feel isolated and alone with your cancer. If that happens, your healthcare provider can direct you to TNBC support groups and programs where you can talk to people who understand your experience.
- Youll probably need or want help while youre going through treatment. Your friends and family likely are anxious to do what they can. Let them know how they can help you.
- If you will need cancer surgery, ask your healthcare provider what to expect immediately after surgery and any follow-up treatment. Knowing what to expect will help you focus on what you can control rather than what you cant control.
- Cancer is stressful. You might find activities such as meditation, relaxation exercises or deep breathing exercises help to ease your stress.
- Chemotherapy treatments might affect your appetite. Try to eat a healthy diet, and talk to a nutritionist if you’re having trouble eating.
- Radiation treatment can leave you feeling exhausted. Plan to rest as much as possible during your treatment.
Signs And Symptoms To Know
The signs and symptoms of triple-negative breast cancer are the same as with all breast cancers. It may present as a lump, which is more commonly hard, painless and irregular, but can also be soft, round and painful. Other signs include:
- Breast swelling
- A nipple that turns inward
- Skin changes on the breast or nipple, including redness, dryness, thickening or flaking
Don’t Miss: How To Tell Breast Cancer
Our Breast Cancer Specialists
The breast cancer specialist team at Siteman comprises outstanding Washington University medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, geneticists and psychologists. The diverse expertise of our specialists is what allows them to create individualized treatment plans for all triple-negative breast cancer patients.
What Are Risk Factors For Breast Cancer Recurrence
Anyone with a breast cancer diagnosis can have a recurrence. Your risk of cancer recurrence depends on several factors:
- Age: Women who develop breast cancer before age 35 are more likely to get breast cancer again.
- Cancer stage: Cancer stage at the time of diagnosis correlates with the risk of the cancer being able to recur. Several factors determine cancer stage: tumor size, cancer grade and cancer spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Cancer grade indicates how unusual cancer cells look in comparison to healthy cells.
- Cancer type: Aggressive cancers like inflammatory breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer are harder to treat. Theyre more likely to come back and spread.
Don’t Miss: What Are Biomarkers In Breast Cancer
How Does Breast Cancer Spread
As was mentioned above, breast cancer can spread to distant areas of the body. How exactly does this happen? First, some of the cancerous cells break away from the original tumor. Then, they attach themselves to the outer wall of either a blood vessel or a lymph vessel. Once the cancer cells penetrate this outer wall, they can begin flowing with blood or lymphatic fluid and eventually reach another organ or lymph node.
Palliative And Supportive Care
Living with advanced TNBC is often difficult, emotionally and physically. Its important to identify and make use of the support that is available, whether it be family, friends, therapists, support groups, financial counselors, social workers or members of the community. Let people know your concerns and what you need from someone, whether it is to watch the kids, provide a ride to your appointment, be another set of ears or a friend who can listen.Its also important to know what services are available to help deal with any physical symptoms that you have. Request a referral to Palliative Care as soon as you get your diagnosis. Palliative Care is there to help with the full range of emotional and physical issues you may encounter throughout the course of your illness.If you are experiencing financial problems, either related to your treatment or to your life, let your health care team know. There are resources that can help with those issues as well.
Read Also: Can Cancer Come Back In The Same Breast
Read Also: One Armpit Smells Worse Breast Cancer
Am I Still At Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence If I Have Had A Mastectomy
Yes. You are still at risk of breast cancer recurrence if you have had a bilateral mastectomy . Undergoing a bilateral mastectomy drastically reduces your chances of local or contralateral breast cancer recurrence as almost all of the breast tissue has been removed. However, there is still a chance that residual breast tissue or cancer cells could recur on the chest wall.
If you have had a single mastectomy , you are still at risk of developing cancer in the breast that remains.
It must be noted that having a mastectomy or bi-lateral mastectomy does not reduce your risk of developing cancer in other parts of your body .
What Makes It Triple
Triple-negative refers to the fact that this type of breast cancer is not fueled by certain substances such as hormones or growth proteins in the body.
Estrogen and progesterone receptors are found in some types of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer doesnt show hormone receptors on the cancer cells and most likely wont respond to breast cancer treatments using hormone blockers to slow the growth of cancer cells like many other types of breast cancer.
Another feature important for classifying breast cancer is the presence of the HER2 protein. Healthy cells have some HER2, but about 20% of breast cancer diagnoses have an excess of this protein, signaling the cells to grow and divide rapidly. Cancers that test positive for an excess of HER2 protein may be effectively treated using targeted therapies that disrupt the function and growth of HER2. Triple-negative cancer patients do not have a significant amount of HER2 protein fueling the cancer.
Don’t Miss: Papillary Thyroid Cancer And Breast Cancer
What Is The Vaccine For Triple
This experimental vaccine is in the early stages of testing with humans.
The long-term goal is to vaccinate healthy people who are at a high risk of developing TNBC. You might be at a high risk of TNBC if you carry certain inherited gene mutations, particularly BRCA1. Such a vaccine might also be helpful to those with a strong family history of breast cancer.
Anyone can develop TNBC. But its often more likely to affect women of African or Hispanic descent. It also tends to occur in women under 40 years old.
In October 2021, Anixa Biosciences and Cleveland Clinic announced the start of dosing patients in a phase 1 trial. The Cleveland Clinic conducted the groundwork for this
How Fast Can Triple Negative Breast Cancer Spread
TNBC is an aggressive, fast-growing cancer, which is why early detection is so critical for positive long-term outcomes. Speak to your GP or healthcare professional at the first sign of any lumps or changes in your breasts.If youre between 50 74, be sure to attend your free mammogram every two years. Women over 40 years of age can also have a free mammogram every two years.
Also Check: What To Expect With Breast Cancer
Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
The present study included the female breast cancer patients diagnosed between 2010 and 2012. The included participants should have unilateral invasive ductal breast cancer as the primary and only malignancy. For pathological parameters, patients were confined to T1aT1c, AJCC TNM stage IIII and intrinsic subtypes with luminal A , HER2-rich and TNBC subtypes. Patients were excluded with breast cancer diagnosed by autopsy or no available information on treatment/survival. The following information was extracted: demographic variables including age at diagnosis, Race, marital status, laterality, histological grade, T/N stage, AJCC stage, radiation therapy, survival and cause of death.
Populations At Increased Risk For Tnbc
There are certain risk factors that put a woman at greater risk for TNBC. You may be at increased risk if:
- You are under age 50. TNBC is more common among younger women.
- You have an inherited BRCA mutation. Of all breast cancers diagnosed in women with an inherited BRCA1 mutation, about 70 percent are TNBC.
- You are Black or Hispanic. Black and Hispanic women are more likely to develop TNBC and have lower survival rates than white and Asian women.
There are many factors that contribute to these racial disparities that are still unknown. However, Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to have unsatisfying communication with their doctors, experience discrimination in health-care settings and have a harder time getting to and from their appointments.
Don’t Miss: Can An Oval Breast Mass Be Cancer
What Are Symptoms Of Triple Negative Breast Cancer
TNBC symptoms are the same as other common breast cancers. And many breast cancer symptoms are similar to other less serious conditions. That means having certain symptom doesnt mean you have breast cancer. Possible breast cancer symptoms include:
- A new lump or mass.
- Swelling in all or part of a breast.
- Nipple retraction, when your nipple turns inward.
- Nipple or breast skin thats dry, flaking, thickened or red.
- Nipple discharge that is not breast milk.
- Swollen lymph nodes. This symptom happens when breast cancer spreads to the lymph nodes under your arm or near your collarbone.
Who Is Most Likely To Have Tnbc
Triple negative breast cancer appears more frequently in women age 40 and younger than in older women. Black and Latina women are more likely to develop TNBC than white women. Women who have the gene change BRCA1 are more likely to develop TNBC than other women. When the BRCA1 gene mutates, it stops preventing cancer and appears to make your bodys cells more vulnerable to cancer.
Also Check: What Does Stage 2 Breast Cancer Mean
Can Tnbc Be Prevented
Researchers dont know all the factors that cause triple negative breast cancer. They have identified the BRAC1 gene mutation as one potential cause for triple negative breast cancer. Unfortunately, you cant prevent BRAC1 because you inherit this gene mutation from your parents.
But there are steps that help prevent breast cancers, including TNBC:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise on a regular basis.
- Know your family medical history.
- Monitor your breast health. Studies show 95% of women whose breast cancer was treated before it could spread were alive four years after diagnosis.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about genetic testing for the BRCA gene if you have a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic or prostate cancer. If you have the BRCA gene, there are steps you can take to prevent breast cancer.
Do I Need Genetic Counseling And Testing
Your doctor may recommend that you see a genetic counselor. Thats someone who talks to you about any history of cancer in your family to find out if you have a higher risk for getting breast cancer. For example, people of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage have a higher risk of inherited genetic changes that may cause breast cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer. The counselor may recommend that you get a genetic test.
If you have a higher risk of getting breast cancer, your doctor may talk about ways to manage your risk. You may also have a higher risk of getting other cancers such as ovarian cancer, and your family may have a higher risk. Thats something you would talk with the genetic counselor about.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
We take your privacy seriously. You can review and change the way we collect information below.
Recommended Reading: Where Is Breast Cancer Usually Located
Stages Of Breast Cancer: How Theyve Changed Over Time
In the past, only the size of a tumor and the status of nearby lymph nodes were used to determine the stage of someones breast cancer. It was a fairly simple system based purely on anatomy, and was therefore easy for people to memorize.
- If a tumor was two centimeters wide or smaller, it was considered stage I.
- If a tumor was larger than that or the cancer was detectable in nearby lymph nodes, it was considered stage II.
- If a tumor had spread to the skin of the breast or not far beyond the adjacent lymph nodes, it was considered stage III.
- And if a tumor had spread anywhere else in the body, it was automatically considered stage IV.
But all of that changed in 2017. Advancements in tumor biology and prognostic biological markers such as estrogen receptor , progesterone receptor , and HER2/neu allowed clinicians to understand why similarly staged patients had significantly different outcomes. This led the American Joint Commission on Cancer to revise its staging manual for breast cancer.
Today, we know that what truly determines a breast cancers stage is not only its size and the amount of lymph node involvement, but also what type of breast cancer it is and how aggressive it looks under a microscope.
How hormones influence breast cancer stages
So, a patient with only three cancerous lymph nodes who has a hormone-sensitive tumor thats two centimeters wide could still be considered stage I despite the lymph node involvement.
How grades influence breast cancer stages
Stage Trumps Biology For Most Small Triple
- Frontline Medical News
You’ve saved your first item
You can find your saved items on your dashboard, in the “saved” tab.
You’ve recommended your first item
Your recommendations help us improve our content suggestions for you and other PracticeUpdate members.
You’ve subscribed to your first topic alert
What does that mean?
Recommended Reading: How Many Stages Of Breast Cancer Are They
What Are Breast Cancer Subtypes And Why Do They Matter
Your breast cancer subtype is one factor healthcare providers take into account when theyre deciding how to treat your cancer. Thats because not all cancer treatments are successful with all breast cancer subtypes.
Providers look at your cancer cells to identify subtypes. Specifically, they look for molecules on your cells surfaces. These molecules, called receptors, are built to order so only certain substances can climb on and start affecting what your cells do.
Breast cancer cells receptors are open to estrogen and progesterone. Understanding if your breast cancer cells have receptors and if theyre housing hormones helps providers determine how your breast cancer might spread and what treatment might be most effective.
The other type of breast cancer that has another receptor is called her-2 neu. This receptor makes the cells more active, but allows healthcare providers to treat the cancer with specific medicines that target her-2 proteins. If your breast cancer doesnt have her-2 neu and hormone receptors, its called triple negative.