NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stages I and II Breast Cancer - page 16

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Stages I and II Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
14
2
Treatment planning
Cancer cell tests
Cancer cell tests
Measuring cell features
Not all breast cancer cells are alike. Cancer cells can
differ by the type of receptors they have. A receptor
is a protein found in the membrane of cells or inside
of cells. Substances bind to the receptors and start
changes within the cell. The two types of receptors
important for treatment planning are:
Hormone receptor test
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that
increase during puberty in girls causing their breasts
to grow. For some breast cancers, the cancer cells
have a high number of hormone receptors. When
hormones attach to the receptors, the cancer cells
grow and divide forming new cancer cells.
Testing for hormone receptors is important because
there are drugs that stop hormones from causing
cancer growth. IHC (
i
mmuno
h
isto
c
hemistry) is the lab
test that most pathologists use to see if cancer cells
have hormone receptors. The cancer cells are stained
to see the number of cells with hormone receptors. If
at least 1 out of every 100 cancer cells stains positive,
the cancer is called hormone receptor–positive.
If fewer cancer cells stain positive for hormone
receptors, the cancer is called hormone receptor–
negative.
HER2 receptor tests
In normal breast cells, there are two copies of
the gene that makes HER2 (
h
uman
e
pidermal
growth factor
r
eceptor
2
). HER2 is found within the
membrane of cells. This type of receptor is called a
surface receptor. When HER2 is activated, it causes
breast cancer cells to grow and divide. Some breast
Pathology report
A pathologist is a doctor who’s an expert in testing cells to find
diseases. This doctor confirms that cancer is present by viewing
a sample of cells with a microscope. When cancer is found, he
or she will do other tests, such as those described in
Cancer
cell tests
, to learn more about the cancer. All lab results are
included in a pathology report that gets sent to your doctors.
Some women get more than one pathology report. The first
report may include the test results of a breast biopsy. A biopsy
removes tissue or fluid samples from the breast with a needle,
probe, or surgical knife. Other pathology reports may include
test results of breast tissue removed during surgical treatment.
It’s a good idea to ask for a copy of your pathology reports. Also
ask your treatment team any questions about the test results.
These reports are used to plan treatment.
1...,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,...96
Powered by FlippingBook