Estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer has been found to be more likely to recur early than ER+ disease. However, the risk of late recurrence is greater for ER+ tumors. One study reported that while the risk of recurrence was lower at first for ER+ compared to ER- disease, ER+ tumor status was more detrimental after 7.7 years.This is news to me. Crap. I wonder if I'll really be able to stop taking Tamoxifen or some other estrogen blocker after 5 years. Maybe I'll be afraid to quit taking them. I wonder.
Given the risk of late recurrence for ER+ disease, some researchers and practitioners are recommending that patients remain on endocrine treatment beyond the five years that has been standard.
For those unfamiliar with the ER- and ER+ designations, mine is the ER+ type (Estrogen Receptor Positive), which means that estrogen was the cause or, at least, what made my tumour grow and this is why I'm now on estrogen blockers.