Triple negative breast cancer screening techniques are currently being evaluated. The purpose of breast cancer screening is to detect the condition before symptoms have developed and early enough to provide a patient with adequate time to take appropriate steps that could potentially improve his or her outcome. As of yet, no standard screening technique has proven to be safe and reliable enough to improve breast cancer prognosis.
The best way to detect breast cancer is for patients to become familiar with the look and feel of their breasts, perform regular self-examinations, remain vigilant for lumps and other signs of breast cancer and promptly report any concerns to a physician. These steps are especially important in the identification of triple negative breast cancer, which is less likely to be found through mammography than other forms of breast cancer.
While no tests are recommended specifically for triple negative breast cancer screening purposes, certain tests can be helpful for detecting breast cancer in general, such as:
- Clinical breast examinations – A physician performs a manual and visual evaluation of the breasts
- Conventional mammography and full-breast tomosynthesis – Mammography can sometimes reveal signs of breast cancer, including lumps, masses and breast asymmetry
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – MRI produces in-depth images of a breast, which can be analyzed for tissue abnormalities
- Automated breast ultrasound system (ABUS) – Ultrasound images can be viewed along with screening mammography results for a more complete picture, which can be helpful for screening patients with dense breast tissue
Additionally, genetic testing for breast cancer is sometimes recommended for certain patients. This is not a screening test for cancer or means of making a diagnosis, but rather is intended to provide important information about a patient’s hereditary risk of developing breast cancer. This knowledge can aid a patient’s decision-making, sometimes even before any cancer has developed. Genetic testing is generally advisable for patients who have triple negative breast cancer or other risk factors, such as three or more family members with breast cancer.
After considering a patient’s medical history and individual risk factors, a physician can recommend the most appropriate testing methods. At Moffitt Cancer Center, this determination is made collaboratively by a multispecialty team of cancer experts. These professionals meet weekly to develop patient care plans and monitor patient progress. As a result, our patients receive outstanding, individualized care in a single location.