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What is triple negative breast cancer?

By Dra. Lydia Pilar Suárez.
Last Update: 09/24/2019

A classification of breast cancers is based on the receptors it expresses. Three main receptors are studied: ER or estrogen receptor; RP or progesterone receptor; and HER2.

Triple negative breast cancer is cancer in which the hormone receptors, estrogen and progesterone receptors, and HER2 are negative.

Consequently, this type of cancer is more resistant to pharmacological treatment as it does not respond to hormone therapy (such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors) or to therapies aimed at HER2 receptors, such as Herceptin (generic name: trastuzumab), with other treatments such as surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy), radiotherapy and other chemotherapies other than Herceptin taking on special importance.

About 10-20% of breast cancer cases are triple negative, and due to their resistance to treatment they are also more aggressive.

Suggested for you: How Can Breast Cancer Be Detected? Symptoms & Treatment.

Dra. Lydia Pilar Suárez
Dra. Lydia Pilar Suárez
Gynecologist
Bachelor degree in Medicine and Surgery at the Universidad de Oviedo in Asturias. Specialization in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospital of San Carlos de Madrid. Master in Assisted Reproduction at the University of Rey Juan Carlos in collaboration with the Valencian Fertility Clinic IVI.
Licence number: 64136
Gynecologist. Bachelor degree in Medicine and Surgery at the Universidad de Oviedo in Asturias. Specialization in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospital of San Carlos de Madrid. Master in Assisted Reproduction at the University of Rey Juan Carlos in collaboration with the Valencian Fertility Clinic IVI. Licence number: 64136.