Thanks for posting.
There are different ways of scoring oestrogen receptor status. The most common score you’ll see in a pathology report following surgery is the Allred score that you’ve mentioned.
The score is based on the amount of cancer cells (in percent) that stain positive in the lab for oestrogen receptor (ER), on a scale of 0 to 5, and also the strength of that staining, on a scale of 0 to3, for a possible total score of 8.
Because breast cancer cells are microscopic it’s impossible to count them all individually, so the score numbers are given to the amount of staining seen under the microscope. The score number is assigned to a range. Score 3 is given when 11-33% staining is seen and score 4 to 34-66%. You can talk to your specialist to go back over your pathology report should you wish to.
Nearly everyone who has been treated for cancer worries about it coming back. You are not alone in being anxious about this.
The ER score alone does not predict the risk of recurrence or the timescale it may happen in. A number of different factors are used by doctors to give an estimated prognosis. The treatment you have had, and the anastrazole and bisphosphonate you are currently having aims to reduce your risk of the breast cancer returning as much as possible. Research is looking at how any untreated dormant cancer cells may behave in different situations, but there is still much to find out about this.
Adapting to life after treatment and looking to the future can be really difficult and often the need for information and support continues. Dr Peter Harvey a Consultant Clinical Psychologist wrote about how people can feel after treatment has finished. Although the article is many years old and not specific to breast cancer the emotional issues discussed remain relevant. You can read this through the following link After the treatment has finished - Then what?
You may also be interested in our resources that are particularly for those who have come to the end of their main hospital treatment. These are known as our Moving forward services. This includes our resources pack, Moving Forward course and BECCA app.
It can also often be helpful to speak with others who’ve had similar experiences and concerns. You can do this by posting on the forum or by talking with a volunteer from our Someone Like Me who has had a personal experience of breast cancer and are trained to provide support. The volunteers are able to talk to you by email or telephone.
Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
We are currently reviewing our Forum service and wonder if you would have five to 10 minutes to complete a short survey. The survey will help us gather information about this service and understand more about any improvements we can make.
Breast Cancer Care Nurse
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Hi I was diagnosed November 2016 Grade 3 primary breast cancer with two nodes. My Er score was 6 Pr 4. My oncologist said it was highly Er but a 6 is a lower score than i expected .It was apparently classed as 33 to 66 % Er. Can you explain why the scoring seems so vague it seems a big range between the percentages. I have had the full treatment of mastectomy lymph clearance chemo and radiotherapy. I also had ovary removal to put me in menopause as I was still having cycle aged 48 and tamoxifen wasn't suitable for me . I take Anastrozole and have bisposphonate infusion.
i worry a lot about recurrence and pleased to be 2 year clear. However I know Er breast cancer can recur much later than TNBC as my Er was lower would any recurrence i may have be likely to be sooner similar to triple negative .Also is it possible any dormant cells can die off by themself. Many thanks .