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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Dec;18(12):1975-80. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1351.

Lack of knowledge of hormone receptor status and use of endocrine therapy in invasive breast cancer.

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Women's Health Program, Department of Medicine, Monash Medical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Prahan, Victoria, Australia.



The aim of this study was to investigate the level of understanding in women with newly diagnosed invasive breast cancer of the key clinical features of their disease that are important determinants in treatment decision making.


The 1684 women aged between 26 and 88 years at diagnosis enrolled in a 5-year cohort study were asked by questionnaire about their estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status and about their past or current treatment with adjuvant endocrine therapy. Information was linked with their ER and PR status determined from the histopathology report. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore the relationship between age and education status and the likelihood of being able to correctly report hormone receptor status, as well as the relationship between the likelihood of receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy and knowledge of hormone receptor status in women who were ER or PR positive.


Not being able to correctly report hormone receptor status was associated with being older and having a lower level of education. Of women who were ER positive or PR positive or both and were at least 40 weeks from diagnosis, having received some form of endocrine therapy was significantly associated with self-identification as being ER or PR positive (OR=1.82, 95% CI 1.24-2.68, p=0.002), even when age was taken into account.


That self-knowledge of hormone receptor status was independently associated with likelihood of receiving endocrine therapy suggests that the methods of helping women understand the nature of their breast cancer are worthy of review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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