Triple Negative Breast Cancer Information

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of malignancy that comprises about 15 percent of breast cancer cases. Unlike more common forms of breast cancer, TNBC is not fueled by the hormones estrogen or progesterone, nor is its growth supported by the HER2 gene. The unique makeup of TNBC cells renders traditional hormone therapies ineffective, although chemotherapy and radiation can still prove to be useful forms of treatment.

Anyone can be diagnosed with TNBC, but as noted by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the disease most commonly occurs in women who:

  • Are African-American or Hispanic: African-American women are most commonly affected by TNBC, followed by women of Hispanic descent. 
  • Are younger than 50: TNBC is more likely to develop in women who are younger than 50, as opposed to more common forms of breast cancer that usually affect women older than 60. 
  • Have inherited the BRCA1 gene: Women with the BRCA1 mutation have been found to be at an increased risk for developing TNBC.

Like most other forms of breast cancer, signs of TNBC involve the presence of a breast lump, and diagnosis in an early stage can lead to a positive prognosis. However, TNBC is more aggressive and more likely to recur than many other malignancies that affect the breast. Much of breast cancer research is devoted to better understanding TNBC and identifying more effective treatments.

Tampa General Hospital provides highly specialized treatment to individuals diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and other types of malignancies. Each of our patients is cared for by an experienced medical team that includes oncologists, radiologists, and other specialists who utilize advanced, targeted therapies to eradicate various forms of cancer. For a physician referral or to make an appointment, please call (813) 844-2200.