Knowing what type of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) you have and what causes your cancer to grow is important. If you’re living with MBC, you may already know your MBC type, often defined by your tumor's hormone receptor (HR+/-, also known as ER+/- or PR+/-) and HER2 protein (HER2+/-) status. But it’s also important to know your MBC mutation status, such as PIK3CA.
Like your HR and HER2 status, your tumor’s PIK3CA mutation status may affect your cancer care.
Click on your type below to learn about the hormones, proteins and mutations that make your cancer grow.
The PIK3CA gene is the most commonly mutated gene in HR+/HER2- breast cancer, affecting about 40% of people with this type. It's important to know if you have a PIK3CA mutation, as it can affect how your cancer progresses.
HR+/HER2- breast cancer is the most common form of breast cancer. In this cancer, hormones estrogen and progesterone cause the cancer to grow. There are also certain mutations that could impact your cancer and treatment options, such as if you have the PIK3CA mutation.
HR+/HER2+ is fueled by estrogen or progesterone hormones, as well as the HER2 protein.
HR-/HER2- breast cancer, commonly referred to as Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is not fueled by estrogen, progesterone or the HER2 protein. Research shows that this type is most common in premenopausal women, African American women and women who have the BRCA1 mutation.
HR-/HER2+ breast cancer has a mutation in the HER2 gene causing excess HER2 protein. HR-/HER2+ cancers tend to grow and spread more aggressively than other subtypes and are associated with poorer short-term prognosis compared to HR+ breast cancers.
A PIK3CA mutation is not inherited (cannot be passed down to children). The PIK3CA gene is the most commonly mutated gene in HR+/HER2- breast cancer, affecting about 40% of people with that subtype. PIK3CA mutations have been linked to cancer growth.
Just as your tumor's HR and HER2 status inform your doctor whether certain proteins fuel your cancer, your tumor’s PIK3CA mutation status tells your doctor whether a gene mutation may be contributing to the growth of your cancer.Your tumor’s PIK3CA mutation status may affect how your doctor manages your cancer care.
Talk to your doctor about how you can find out your tumor’s mutation status.Identifying the PIK3CA mutation can help your doctor understand your disease better and plan your personalized care.
In cancer, mutations may affect how the tumor grows.
occurs at random and is not passed down from parent to child. PIK3CA is a sporadic mutation.
passed down from parent to child. BRCA1/2 is an inherited mutation.
I already know my MBC type – I do not need to know anything else about my cancer.
There may be a mutation called PIK3CA in your tumor that could impact your cancer care. Talk to your doctor to learn more about your tumor's PIK3CA mutation status.
All MBC mutations are passed down from parent to child.
The PIK3CA mutation is not inherited, which means you may have it regardless of your family history.
Mutations in cancer do not affect course of disease (or disease prognosis).
PIK3CA mutations have been linked to cancer growth, and are associated with poorer prognosis.
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Some of the women we surveyed said it was sometimes hard to take their cancer treatment as prescribed. It is okay to feel this way, but if you do, let your healthcare team know. Cancer treatment is complicated, so do not make changes before talking to your healthcare providers, even if you are experiencing side effects. The more information you communicate, the more they will be able to help you.