Triple Negative Breast Cancers
Having posted a critical entry about Komen a few days ago, I am glad to share this example of the good work they do. As many of you know, there is a lot of information on their website (www.komen.org), and it is one of the reliable places to go for facts. Here is a quote from their basic information sheet about triple negative breast cancers and then a link to read more:
What is triple negative breast cancer?
Triple negative breast cancer is a subtype of breast cancer. Although breast cancer is often referred to as a single disease, there are many types of breast cancer tumors. In fact, breast cancer can be described as a family of diseases. All breast cancers start in the breast. So, they are alike in some ways, but also can be quite different from each other.
There are many ways to describe breast cancers, such as:
• where in the breast they start (ducts or lobules).
• how advanced they are (non-invasive, invasive, metastatic).
• how they look in the lab according to the pathologist (i.e. inflammatory, mucinous).
• the presence or absence of three biomarkers.
These biomarkers are proteins that control cell functions, such as cell growth or death. They are estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR) and HER2/neu. Triple negative breast cancers do not have these biomarkers. It is referred to as estrogen receptor-negative (ER-), progesterone receptor- negative (PR-) and HER2/neu-negative.