Breast cancer is a type of cancer in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different kinds of breast cancer. The kind of breast cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. Normal breast cells have receptors that respond to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which allows them to grow and regress in response to the hormone level. Hormone receptors may or may not be present in breast cancer. About two-thirds of breast cancers are “positive” and contain these receptors as normal breast cells do.
HER2/neu (hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a protein molecule that has a role in cell proliferation in normal cells. In some breast cancers, this protein is overly produced or “positive.” For HER2-positive tumours, there is a specific medication that targets this protein. Triple-negative breast cancers are not positive for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors or HER2 protein.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Triple-negative breast cancer are:
- A new lump or mass
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no lump is felt)
- Skin dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking, or thickened
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or near the collarbone (This can be a sign of breast cancer spreading even before the original tumour in the breast is large enough to be felt.)
Note: Many of these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous breast conditions. Still, it’s essential to have any new breast mass, lump, or other change checked by an experienced healthcare professional so the cause can be found and treated if needed.
Treatment for Triple-negative breast cancer
Chemotherapy: Cells from the cancerous lump may have spread somewhere else in your body. The goal of chemotherapy is to kill those cancer cells wherever they may be. Chemotherapy lowers the chance that your cancer will grow or come back.
Surgery: In surgery, the surgeon removes the breast and nearby lymph nodes to see if cancer has spread.
Radiation therapy: In such therapies, high-energy radiation is given to your breast to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Medication: There are medications for triple-negative breast cancer treatment, such as polymerase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors and immunotherapy medications, such as Trodelvy 180 mg injection, which contains Trodelvy is a type of drug called an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). It consists of an antibody (an immune system protein) that’s linked to a chemotherapy drug. This medicine contains Sacituzumab govitecan hziy.
Statistics: Triple-negative breast cancer in India and world
In the USA, according to the American Cancer Society Journals, a total of 1,151,724 breast cancer cases from 2010 through 2014 in the 39 states were identified in the data set, with a mean case age at diagnosis of 61.8 years. In this comprehensive collection of breast cancer cases, approximately 75% of the patients were NHW women; among all races/ethnicities, approximately 27.7% were diagnosed at a late stage, and around 5% were diagnosed at a distant stage. In the examined time period, TNBC cases accounted for 8.4% of all breast cancer cases.
In India, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH), seventeen cross-sectional studies involving 7,237 patients with breast cancer were included in the review of analysis made by NIH.14-30 Mean age of patients ranged from 43 to 55 years across studies, with a weighted average of age 50 years.