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

Lisa L. Ferguson

Britne Curran

Mary Martinez

Peggy Mancuso

breast cancer, psychosocial aspects, patient/public education, chemotherapy, surgery
CJON 2014, 18(1), E6-E11. DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.E6-E11

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is considered a rare diagnosis. This malignancy targets a specific population of women and has risk factors differing from those of other breast cancers. TNBC exhibits distinct pathologic features that result in aggressive metastasis and poor prognosis. Pathologically, TNBC cancer cells are characterized by negative receptors for progesterone and estrogen and by the lack of over-expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, which limits chemotherapeutic treatment options for women with TNBC. Nurses can assist in early detection by offering patient education about the little known risk factors for TNBC. Psychosocial issues can overwhelm patients diagnosed with breast cancer. This article provides suggestions for nurses as they guide women who are experiencing an atypical breast cancer diagnosis with an uncertain prognosis and limited treatment options.

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