Triple-negative Breast Cancer: What Is Known About It?

Lisa L. Ferguson, DNP, RN, WHNP-BC; Britne Curran, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC; Mary Martinez, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC; Peggy Mancuso, PhD, RN, CNM


Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2014;18(1) 

In This Article


TNBC is a type of breast cancer diagnosed by not having ERs and PRs and lack of over-expression of HER2 receptors. Because of these characteristics, TNBC is unresponsive to endocrine and monoclonal antibody therapies, making it more difficult to treat. This cancer yields tumors with a high proliferative rate, leading to a poorer prognosis and increased recurrence rate. In addition, risk factors for TNBC differ from those of typical breast cancer, leaving a gap in patient education that nurses must address. Therapeutic treatment options consist of neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy and primary surgery, with or without radiotherapy. Nurses can assist women in many ways both prior to and after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Understanding risk factors, screening, disease process, and effects of treatments will prepare nurses to help patients with early diagnosis and treatment of this uncommon breast cancer.