Triple negative breast cancer stages are assigned based on the extent of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, including the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. Approximately 15 percent of all breast cancer cases are classified as triple negative, or hormone receptor negative, which means that the cancer cells lack receptors for estrogen, progesterone and HER-2/neu hormones. While triple negative breast cancers are sometimes treated differently than hormone-receptor-positive cancers, the staging process is the same for all types of cancer.
Breast cancers are typically staged using a numerical scale that ranges from zero to four, with higher numbers indicating progressively larger and more invasive cancers. Triple negative and other types of breast cancer stages include:
- Stage 0 – Abnormal cells are confined to the milk ducts or lobes
- Stage 1 – Small, localized cancers that have not spread beyond a single, nearby lymph node
- Stage 2 – Moderate, regional cancers that have not spread beyond the lymph nodes in the underarm area
- Stage 3 – Regionally advanced cancers that have spread beyond the breast but have not metastasized to distant organs
- Stage 4 – Metastatic malignancies that have spread to distant organs
The Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program at Moffitt Cancer Center offers a full range of advanced treatments for all stages and types of breast cancer, including triple negative. While patients with hormone-receptor-negative cancers do not benefit from hormonal therapy, other treatment options such as surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are often recommended. At Moffitt, each patient’s treatment plan is developed with input from a tumor board comprised of a multispecialty team of cancer experts. To ensure the best possible patient care, this knowledgeable group meets weekly to review each patient’s progress and fine-tune the treatment plan as necessary.
For more information about triple negative breast cancer stages, call 1-888-663-3488 or request to schedule an appointment online. No referrals are necessary to meet with Moffitt’s oncologists who specialize in breast cancer.