The majority of triple negative recurrences take place during the first three years after diagnosis. The risk remains relatively high through year five. After this high-risk period, the likelihood of a relapse declines and eventually becomes lower than that of hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancer survivors are also more likely to develop new tumors in the opposite breast (contralateral breast cancer).
Most frequent sites of metastasis
Unlike ER+/PR+ tumors, which often metastasize first to the bone, one study found that triple negative tumors have a tendency to metastasize first to the liver and brain. However, metastatic disease is found in multiple organs when it is first detected in about one-third of cases. Another study reported that the most frequently involved organs are the lungs and liver, bone, skin, central nervous system (including the brain), and the opposite breast.
Stage III triple disease and brain metastases
One 2012 study reported that women with stage III triple negative disease are particularly vulnerable to brain metastasis during the first two to five years after diagnosis. The cumulative incidence of brain metastases at five years was 9.6% among patients with stage III disease, compared to 2.8% for stage I and 4.6% for stage II.
Below under Selected breast cancer studies are links to studies concerning patterns of recurrence in triple negative breast cancer patients.
Food for Breast Cancer triple negative breast cancer articles
Below are links to all of the other articles concerning triple negative breast cancer.
To see all of the articles, news stories and studies concerning triple negative breast cancer, click on the tripleNegative tag in the list of tags directly below.