Triple negative refers to breast cancer that is estrogen receptor negative (ER-), progesterone receptor negative (ER-), and HER2 negative (HER2-). In other words, triple negative breast cancer does not express receptors for estrogen or progesterone and does not overexpress HER2. Please also see triple negative breast cancer survival data.
That is not to say that hormones do not influence this type of breast cancer. Recent evidence also suggests that estrogen can promote triple negative breast cancer metastasis. However, generally speaking, drugs or foods that reduce the production of estrogen or block its effects in the body are not effective treatments for this type of breast cancer. Therefore, in addition to surgery and radiotherapy, chemotherapy represents the best opportunity to eradicate breast cancer cells and prevent metastasis. Hence, it vitally important for patients to maximize this opportunity to improve their prognosis (see our articles on Taxol or Adriamycin chemotherapy).
Women with metabolic syndrome are more likely to have triple negative breast cancer upon diagnosis than women without it. One 2021 study reported that women with triple negative breast cancer who began statin therapy (presumably for high cholesterol) within 12 months of diagnosis had greater breast cancer-specific survival compared to those who did not. The same result did not hold true for other breast cancer types.
It has also been reported that prophylactic mastectomy (removal of disease-free breast as well as the breast with the tumor) improves survival in women with triple negative breast cancer.
Triple negative tumors have a greater tendency to metastasize first to the liver and brain than other breast cancer subtypes. African-American women and Latinas are more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative disease than are non-Hispanic whites.

Other triple negative breast cancer articles

In the Selected breast cancer studies section at the bottom of this page are links to 20 of the most recent studies concerning triple negative breast cancer prognosis. Please also see the webpages listed directly below for more details concerning specific aspects of triple negative prognosis. The studies summarized under Prognosis of triple negative breast cancer compared to other breast cancer subtypes provide the most extensive recurrence and survival statistics for those with triple negative breast cancer.