In English | En español
Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

Understanding Cancer Series

< Back to Main
  • Posted: 10/15/2010

Page Options

  • Print This Page
  • Print This Document
  • View Entire Document
  • Email This Document
  • View/Print PDF
  • View/Print PowerPoint

Slide 18

:

Estrogen Receptor-Negative Breast Cancer

< Previous SectionNext Section >

Unlike normal breast cells, cancer cells arising in the breast do not always have receptors for estrogen.

Breast cancers that DO have estrogen receptors are said to be “estrogen receptor-positive,” while those breast cancers that DO NOT possess estrogen receptors are “estrogen receptor-negative.” In women with estrogen receptor-positive cancers, cancer cell growth is under the control of estrogen. Therefore, such cancers are often susceptible to treatment with tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), because tamoxifen works by blocking the interaction between estrogen and the estrogen receptor.

In contrast, the growth of estrogen receptor-negative cancer cells is not governed by estrogen and is not treated with tamoxifen.

Estrogen Receptor-Negative Breast Cancer