Hormonal Therapy for Breast Cancer

Tamoxifen.

Prior to diagnosis, a biopsy is usually performed to confirm the presence of cancer cells in the breast. Once a formal diagnosis has been made, other tests are typically performed on the tissue obtained by the biopsy to determine whether the tumor is hormone receptor positive or negative.

If the tumor is hormone receptor positive, it means the breast cancer relies on the hormones estrogen and progesterone to grow. Treatments called hormone therapies are typically used in hormone-positive breast cancers because these treatments work to block the cancer cells from using estrogen and progesterone.

There are several types of hormone therapy that are used to treat breast cancer:

Tamoxifen

Used for more than 30 years to treat breast cancer, tamoxifen is given as a pill and works by blocking the activity of estrogen. It is given to women who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer as well as those who have metastatic breast cancer, meaning the breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Research also has demonstrated that tamoxifen helps prevent the recurrence of breast cancer and also helps to prevent breast cancer in women who are at high-risk of developing breast cancer.

LH-RH Agonists

Given by injection, these types of drugs include therapies such as leuprolide and goserelin, which are given to prevent the ovaries from making estrogen.

Aromatase Inhibitors

Typically given in women who have already gone through menopause, aromatase inhibitors prevent the body from making estradiol, a form of estrogen. Anastrazole, exemestane and letrozole are all types of aromatase inhibitors used to treat breast cancer.

Related Articles

Aromatase Enzyme

Breast Cancer Effects


 
disclaimer

The information provided on Breastcancer.co is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of Breastcancer.co nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Fight Cancer through Social Media