Although in eight women in the United States will most likely develop breast cancer according to commonly used statistics, recent reports indicate that breast cancer rates are on the decline, mostly because of improved recognition, prevention, and treatment. But there are some crucial steps in the process of beast cancer evaluation, being the most important the need to test the tumor tissue removed during a biopsy or surgery to determine if it has estrogen and progesterone receptors – molecules that the hormones bind to.
But what are estrogen and progesterone receptors and how do they affect cancer cells?
Cancerous cells may have none, one, or both receptors. Breast cancers that have estrogen receptors are called ER-positive (or ER+). Those with progesterone receptors are referred to as PR-positive (or PR+).
Also, in addition to hormone receptors, some breast cancers have high levels of a growth-promoting protein called HER2/neu. If a tumor has this property, it is called HER2-positive. HER2 positive cancers are more aggressive than HER2 negative cancer.
Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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