New test will assess risk of one breast cancer type

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.

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