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"I promise, Suzy... Even if it takes the rest of my life." - Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

What is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?


Just in recent years, Triple Negative Breast Cancer has sparked interest in the news where instead of calling the tumor as ER-negative, PR-negative, and HER2-negative; researchers began using the shorthand term, "Triple Negative," dubbed the "new type" type of cancer. Being Triple Negative, you don't have a targeted therapy and that your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Triple Negative is seen in about 15% of all breast cancers. Triple Negative is a very aggressive cancer that tends to strike younger women, pre-menopause, especially among African-American women and women who have BRCA1 mutations. The tumor tends to be fast growing and is less likely to show up on an annual mammogram. TN is more likely to metastasis early on; has a high rate of recurrence in the first 2-3 years from diagnosis and has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer due to lack of specific, targeted treatment for TNBC.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Susan G. Komen® | Prognosis of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Varies By Age

Komen News press release:

Prognosis of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Varies By Age

The prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) tends to be better among older women than among younger women, even though older women are less likely to receive aggressive treatment. These results were published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Previous studies have reported that the prognosis of breast cancer tends to be better for women who are diagnosed at older ages, but few of these studies have focused specifically on triple-negative breast cancers (breast cancers that are estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, and HER2-negative).  
The explore the relationship between age and prognosis, researchers conducted a study among 1,732 women with TNBC. Roughly 21% of the women were age 40 or younger at the time of diagnosis. 
Factors that were more common among younger women included non-white race, high-grade tumors, and treatment with chemotherapy.  
In spite of receiving more aggressive treatment, younger women tended to have worse disease-free and overall survival than older women. Median disease-free survival (survival without a recurrence or a new cancer) was 4 years among women who were diagnosed between ages 31 and 40, compared with 8 years among women diagnosed at age 60 or older. 
The relationship between age and prognosis persisted even after accounting for factors such as family history of breast cancer, tumor grade and size, and lymph node involvement.  
As has been reported for other types of breast cancer, older age tends to be linked with better outcomes among women with TNBC. Research into how the biology of TNBC varies by age may point the way toward new and more effective treatments for this condition. 
Reference: Liedtke C, Hess KR, Karn T et al. The prognostic impact of age in patients with triple-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. Early online publication March 5, 2013. 

Posted March 19, 2013

Susan G. Komen® | Prognosis of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Varies By Age

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, but what is the prognosis thoughts be said about the age group between 40 - 60 years? I am 52, however my Oncol. said he was treating me as a patient in the 41 -49 category range. Is this good or bad?


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