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Treatment Options for Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer


Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells have a receptor for progesterone (PR+) or estrogen (ER+) or both. This means the tumors grow and multiply when exposed to these hormones.

Most breast cancers have estrogen receptors and more than half have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Very few tumors only have progesterone receptors.

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancers grow more slowly than hormone receptor-negative breast cancers. They also are more common in women who have already gone through menopause.

Dignity Health offers complete cancer care — treating each patient with respect and humankindness. You can trust our oncologists to provide personalized treatment for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in the Bay Area. Find a Doctor online today.

Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Symptoms

Many breast cancers appear on a screening mammogram before symptoms develop. There are no symptoms specific to hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. When signs and symptoms are present, they include:

  • Breast lump
  • Discharge that isn’t breast milk
  • Inverted nipple or nipple
  • Change in size, shape, or appearance of the nipple or breast
  • Skin changes on the nipple or breast
  • Swelling of part or all of the breast

Diagnosing Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy. This sample also tells your doctor about the type and grade of breast cancer and HER2 protein status, which helps your doctor develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. Sometimes, this information is not available until after doctors remove the tumor during surgery.

Treatment of Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

At Dignity Health hospitals, our cancer care team is committed to providing comprehensive treatment options for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. In most cases, surgery will be the primary treatment option. Lumpectomy removes the tumor and some normal tissue surrounding it. Radiation therapy is usually necessary after lumpectomy. Mastectomy removes the entire breast. The stage of breast cancer will determine the type of surgery you need.

Other treatments include:

  • Hormone therapy works two ways to slow the growth of cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy kills cancer cells or stop them from growing
  • Targeted therapy uses markers on cancer cells to identify and destroy those specific cells.

Your Dignity Health doctor will explain the options for your unique case and support you at every stage of treatment. 

Dignity Health doctors diagnose and treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in the Bay Area, including San FranciscoSanta Cruz, and Redwood City.