January 22, 2019
By: Medical Team PathSOS

Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer - PathSOS

Some breast cancer cells need estrogen and/or progesterone (female hormones produced in the body) to grow.

All tumors are checked for hormone receptor status.   This analysis is done a specialized lab where immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization facilities are available. A  specialist pathologist then determines the hormone receptor status by testing the tumor tissue removed during a biopsy under a microscope and uses standardized criteria to call a tumor hormone receptor positive or negative.

PathSOS 'Breast Pathologists' have specialist experience in breast pathology and give accurate results for breast cancer hormone receptor status that helps oncologists make appropriate therapy decisions.  Sometimes labs may not perform the tests accurately and this can jeopardize treatment t selection.

  • Hormone receptor-positive(estrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-positive) tumors express (have a lot of) hormone receptors are are labeled as ER+, PR+ .
  • Hormone receptor-negative (estrogen receptor-negative/progesterone receptor-negative) tumors do not express (have few or no) hormone receptors and are labeled as ER-, PR-.

    Most breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive.

Hormone therapies are only used to treat these hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

How does it work?

Hormone therapy drugs slow  down or stop the growth of hormone receptor-positive tumors by preventing the cancer cells from getting access to the hormones they need to grow. 

This is accomplished in a few ways.

  • Some hormone therapies, such as tamoxifen, attach to the receptor site in the cancer cell and block estrogen from attaching to the receptor.
  • Others, such as aromatase inhibitors, lower the level of estrogen in the body so the cancer cells can't get the estrogen they need to grow.

Treatment with the hormone therapies tamoxifen and/or aromatase inhibitors lowers the risk of:

  • Breast cancer recurrence
  • Breast cancer in the opposite/contralateral breast
  • Reduces chances of death from breast cancer/improves survival

All breast cancer patients who have been diagnosed, should make sure that they have accurate hormone receptor status report on their breast biopsy before commencing treatment.

Call PATHSOS for queries about Hormone Receptor status check  info@pathsos.net or + 91 0124 4995078