What Does It Mean If My Breast Cancer Is Hormone Receptor-Positive Or Negative?

Question: What does it mean if my breast cancer is hormone receptor-positive or negative?

Answer: If the breast cancer is hormone receptor-positive, this would mean that there has been the detection of the estrogen receptor, or the progesterone receptor, or both of these, inside that particular tumor. This means that there is a high probability that that tumor, and any of the cancer that has spread from the original tumor, will respond to anti-hormonal therapy -- therapies that stop estrogen working. If in fact the tumor is hormone receptor-negative, this means the anti-hormonal therapy will not work.

Next: How can my breast cancer be estrogen receptor positive when I am postmenopausal and my body is losing estrogen?

V. Craig Jordan, MD
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Previous: What are estrogen and progesterone hormone receptors?
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