Tamoxifen for weakly positive Estrogen and Progesterone breast cancers

Last Modified: February 13, 2005

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I am a 31-year old ER negative and "weakly" PR positive breast cancer patient. I have had a mastectomy with no lymph node involvement and chemotherapy and now deciding whether to go on Tamoxifen. Does your practice recommend Tamoxifen for "weakly" PR positive patients?

Answer

Julia Draznin Maltzman, MD, Attending Physician at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, responds:

As a general rule, we do routinely recommend hormone therapy to women whose tumors are weakly positive Estrogen (ER) and Progesterone (PR). However, each case must be discussed and analyzed individually. The thought is that hormone therapy such as Tamoxifen is very easy to take, well tolerated, and has few side effects, that the potential for help is greater than the potential for harm. However, this remains a personal decision and you should have a careful and thoughtful discussion with your oncologist.

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