Luminal A breast cancer responds well to treatment

Breast cancer occurs when cells in your breast have errors in DNA. Each time a cell in your body divides into two new cells, it makes a copy of your DNA. If the copy has an error, then the new breast cell can grow out of control, becoming cancer.

Doctors put breast cancer into different categories according to how they react to the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and if it has a HER2 gene. HER2 genes cause your cells to have too much protein that makes cancer grow quickly. By knowing what category your breast cancer is, your doctor can provide better, more accurate treatment.

Luminal A breast cancer, the most common type of breast cancer, reacts to hormones and uses them to grow, but doesn't have a HER2 gene. Luminal A breast cancer grows very slowly and doesn't often spread to other cells. Women with luminal A breast cancer have the best chance for a cure and least chance of cancer coming back than any other type of breast cancer.

To schedule an appointment with a breast cancer specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.

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Hormone therapy keeps luminal A breast cancer from coming back

When you are diagnosed with luminal A breast cancer, you will first have surgery to remove any cancer tumors in your breast. You may have a lumpectomy, when a surgeon removes just the lump or tumor, or a mastectomy, when your entire breast is removed.

After you've healed from surgery, you may have radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles or beams to burn away cancer cells left behind after surgery.

In addition, you may have chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses medicine to kill any remaining cancer cells no matter where they're located in your body. Though it does have side effects, it can keep cancer from coming back or spreading to other parts of your body.

Because luminal A breast cancer is receptive to estrogen, you'll also take hormone therapy after your treatment is done. During hormone therapy, you take a pill each day that keeps the cells in your breasts from absorbing estrogen. If you're past menopause, you might take a pill that keeps your body from making estrogen instead.

You may take hormone therapy for five to ten years after treatment. Hormone therapy is effective at keeping luminal A breast cancer from coming back.