The Disproportionate Impact of
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

An initiative of National Minority Quality Forum’s Institute For Equity In Health Policy And Practice​

Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

An aggressive form of cancer that disproportionately
impacts women who are medically underserved.
TNBC lacks (“is negative for”) three receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer – estrogen,
progesterone and humanepidermal growth factor.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. among women, with approximately 287,850 cases expected to be diagnosed in 2022.

Approximately 10-20% of breast cancers are diagnosed as Triple-Negative Breast Cancer  (TNBC). TNBC is challenging to treat when it is diagnosed in later stages and women diagnosed with metastatic TNBC have a worse prognosis when compared to other forms of breast cancer.

The Impact of TNBC

Young Women

TNBC is more common among younger women.

Women under the age of 40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer are twice as likely to be diagnosed with TNBC.

Black Women

Black women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with TNBC than non-Hispanic white women and TNBC tumors tend to be larger.

Black patients are diagnosed later when treatment is less likely to be effective. Black women have the lowest survival rate at each stage of diagnosis.

Hispanic Women

Hispanic women are also
diagnosed with the TNBC subtype more often than white women.

Hispanic women have a higher risk of mortality from TNBC compared to non-Hispanic white women.

Advancing Policy to Treat Triple-Negative Cancer

Most current clinical guidelines and medical
practice patterns for breast cancer screenings fail to include  TNBC and disproportionately jeopardize the health and survival of Black and Hispanic women. Race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and insurance type are indicators for worse TNBC outcomes in the U.S.

Increased Risk for Black Women to Be Diagnosed with Stage IV TNBC
Increased Risk of Death for Women Who Are Uninsured or on Medicaid (Compared to women with Private Insurance)

Allocate additional resources and mandate
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early
Detection Program (NBCCEDP) outreach
efforts to identify and educate women at
greatest risk for TNBC

Increase funding for the NBCCEDP to
improve access to screening, diagnostic
services and treatments; the program serves
approximately 15% of eligible women1

Ensure access to affordable and culturally
responsive care by supporting programs
that connect patients to services (e.g. care
navigators) and increase funding to support
provider training

Standardize cancer registry data collection
to include breast cancer subtypes
disaggregated by indicators specific to the
sub-populations impacted

Enhance clinical trial diversity by encouraging
FDA to strengthen guidance on ‘what good
looks like’ for clinical development plans
of new medicines to ensure recruitment
strategies represents the population for
which the product is indicated

Update screening guidelines, such as the
USPSTF, to include greater emphasis on
TNBC high-risk underserved populations

Contact the

Gretchen C. Wartman

VP for Policy at National Minority Quality Forum, and Director of the Institute for Equity in Health Policy and Practice