Common Treatments for TNBC
Your treatment will be based on whether the cancer has traveled to the lymph nodes near your breast, the size of the main tumor and details of pathology tests such as the tumor grade, which shows how quickly the cancer cells are dividing. With early-stage disease, you are likely to have some type of surgery and chemotherapy. You also may have radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is the most effective systemic, or whole-body, treatment for triple-negative breast cancer. The reason is that chemotherapy works better than other treatments to kill cancer cells that divide quickly, which is very common in triple-negative disease. Chemotherapy also helps prevent breast cancer cells from spreading, or metastasizing, to other parts of the body.
There are many types of chemotherapy. Your doctor will recommend ones best suited for you.
Radiation is a local therapy that kills any cancer cells left in areas of your body after surgery at high risk for cancer return. Those areas may be in your breast or chest wall, with or without the nearby lymph nodes. Adjuvant radiation therapy helps protect you from the breast cancer coming back in the treated areas, also called local recurrence.
Radiation is usually given after lumpectomy. If you need a mastectomy, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back in your skin or the chest wall or nearby lymph nodes if: