Breast cancer isn’t just one disease. Doctors identify its different forms by which kind of hormone fuels the cancer’s growth. Breast cancer may have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or HER2 — human epidermal growth factor receptors. Or it may have none of those, which means that it’s triple negative breast cancer.
This kind of cancer accounts for 15-20% of breast cancers, and it responds to chemotherapy but not to the hormonal therapies that treat other kinds of cancer.
A newly identified genetic variant might mean a better way to assess your risk of developing triple negative breast cancer, especially if you’re African-American.