Treatment options for an ER+ premenopausal breast cancer patient

Last Modified: July 21, 2003


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I have had a lumpectomy and lymph nodes removed, of 19 lymph nodes one was affected. The tumor was 1.2 cm; my cancer was diagnosed as ER+. I am now considering treatment specifically looking at the chemotherapy plus tamoxifen. I am premenopausal (46 years old). What are your comments based on this information. Should I be considering chemotherapy at all? I have to also look at radiation therapy as part of my treatment plan. 


Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

It seems that you are on the right track. For patients with the parameters you have described, including being of young age, we generally recommend aggressive treatment. We would generally recommend starting with chemotherapy. We would generally recommend starting with chemotherapy. We would then follow the chemotherapy with hormonal therapy such as tamoxifen. Radiation therapy would be recommended in all patients that have had a lumpectomy for their breast cancer.