ER stands for oestrogen receptor ( in the UK we tend to spell it this way as opposed to other countries who miss off the 'o' )
you can actually be ER + if you are pre menopausal ( I am) . Tamoxifen tends to be given as hormone therapy to block oestrogen from getting to cells. I think similar acting drugs like letrozole are used if you are post menopausal at time of diagnosis
To confuse matters further treatment seems to put a lot of us into menopause anyway, either permanent or temporary!
Hi Gail er positive means the cancer cells grow in response to the hormone oestrogen apparently if your breast cancer has a significant number of receptors for either oestrogen or progesterone it is considered hormone receptor positive mine was er positive hence why I am on five maybe ten years of letrozole to lower the oestrogen hope this helps love judi xx
Hi Gail, it means it's a breast cancer that's been caused by oestrogen (and sometimes progesterone) being made in the breast tissue.
It only happens to post menopausal women. Before menopause oestrogen is made in the overies but after menopause the overies stop making it, and then some is made in the tissue, and in the breasts this can cause cells to become cancer.
After the cancer has been removed by surgery, you then take a drug that will block the hormones being made in the tissue.
But I am no expert so hope I haven't got this wrong! If I have, someone please tell me so!