Estrogen Receptor Assay
(ER Assay)

Alternate Names

  • Progesterone Receptors
  • Tumor Marker
  • ERA
  • Estradiol Receptor

A small sample of breast cancer tissue will be taken from a surgically removed tumor, then examined with a microscope for the presence of specialized hormone receptors on the cell wall. The absence or presence of estrogen receptors is used to determine the appropriate treatment for the cancer. When estrogen receptors are present, hormone therapy can be used as a treatment, along with removal of the ovaries and/or the adrenal glands. People with an ER positive result have a better prognosis than ER negative results, and the prognosis is even better when progesterone receptors are also present. Test results take about one week to return from the lab.

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