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How Effective Is Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer

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Vaginal Dryness Or Irritation

Hormonal Therapy for Breast Cancer

Lowered oestrogen levels cause the tissues of the vagina to become thin, dry and less elastic. The vagina becomes slightly shorter and narrower.

Water-based lubricants such as Sylk can reduce the discomfort, particularly during sex. Vaginal moisturizers such as Replens help to hydrate the vaginal tissue and have a long-lasting effect .

How Does Hormone Therapy Work

About 2 out of 3 breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive. Their cells have receptors for the hormones estrogen and/or progesterone which help the cancer cells grow and spread.

There are several types of hormone therapy for breast cancer. Most types of hormone therapy either lower estrogen levels or stop estrogen from acting on breast cancer cells.

Can Hormone Therapy Be Used To Prevent Breast Cancer

Yes. Most breast cancers are ER positive, and clinical trials have tested whether hormone therapy can be used to prevent breast cancer in women who are at increased risk of developing the disease.

A large NCI-sponsored randomized clinical trial called the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial found that tamoxifen, taken for 5 years, reduces the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by about 50% in postmenopausal women who were at increased risk . Long-term follow-up of another randomized trial, the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study I, found that 5 years of tamoxifen treatment reduces the incidence of breast cancer for at least 20 years . A subsequent large randomized trial, the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene, which was also sponsored by NCI, found that 5 years of raloxifene reduces breast cancer risk in such women by about 38% .

As a result of these trials, both tamoxifen and raloxifene have been approved by the FDA to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Tamoxifen is approved for this use regardless of menopausal status. Raloxifene is approved for use only in postmenopausal women.

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What Is Estrogen Receptor

The presence or absence of estrogen receptors makes a difference to breast cancer treatment,canceroz,comHow to Read Hormone Receptor Test Resultswww,breastcancer, hormone receptors are the proteins located in and around breast cells,

Breast Cancer Hormone Receptor Status

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells have either estrogen or progesterone receptors or both, These breast cancers can be treated with hormone therapy drugs that lower estrogen levels or block estrogen receptors, About 80% of all breast cancers are ER-positive,

· In breast cancer, with estrogen receptor-positive tumors,comWhat is an Estrogen Receptor? www, Following an estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer diagnosis, Cancer cells with unique appearances,

If You Cant Have Surgery

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Surgery is the main treatment for breast cancer, but some women have health problems that mean they cant have surgery. Some women choose not to have surgery.

In this case, if your breast cancer is oestrogen receptor positive, your doctor might recommend hormone therapy. This treatment won’t get rid of the cancer but can stop it growing or shrink it.

The treatment can often control the cancer for some time. Your doctor might change you to a different type of hormone treatment if your cancer starts growing again.

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Thingsthat Stop The Body From Making Essentials Hormones

Whiletalking about hormone therapy for breast cancer your doctor may suggest aromatizingmedicines that can reduce the amount of estrogen in your body. Thesemedications are useful according to medical experts as it is also mentioned on mayo clinic websites you can read there.

Thesemedications are useful for those who undergo menopause symptoms or surgery to prevent estrogen that helping cancer cells to grow.

Youshould know all about hormone therapy before using them for breast cancertreatment. Holistic approaches are most useful for treating them without anysurgery or hormone pills. This system is scientific and tested for breastcancer to uterine cancer treatment without any surgery.

Ovary removal is another condition when your doctor will suggest you use aromatizeinhibitors to use but you should use power hormone for them because they helpyou surgery-free treatment for those types of women health-related issues.

Early Versus Delayed Treatment

For men who need hormone therapy, such as men whose PSA levels are rising after surgery or radiation or men with advanced prostate cancer who dont yet have symptoms, its not always clear when it is best to start hormone treatment. Some doctors think that hormone therapy works better if its started as soon as possible, even if a man feels well and is not having any symptoms. Some studies have shown that hormone treatment may slow the disease down and perhaps even help men live longer.

But not all doctors agree with this approach. Some are waiting for more evidence of benefit. They feel that because of the side effects of hormone therapy and the chance that the cancer could become resistant to therapy sooner, treatment shouldnt be started until a man has symptoms from the cancer. This issue is being studied.

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Estrogen Receptor Blockers Estrogen Receptor Blocker Drugs Attach Directly To And Block The Estrogen Receptors On Cancer Cells So That The Cancer Cells Cant Use Estrogen They Do Not Affect The Level Of Estrogen In The Body Estrogen Receptor Blockers Are Also Called Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators


Tamoxifen is the most commonly used anti-estrogen drug. It is used in post-menopausal and premenopausal women. Tamoxifen is given by mouth as a pill.

Tamoxifen is the hormonal therapy drug used most often to lower the risk that DCIS or LCIS will lead to an invasive breast cancer.

Tamoxifen very slightly increases the risk for uterine cancer, deep vein thrombosis and stroke. Doctors will carefully weigh these risks against the benefits of giving this drug before they offer it to women who have a personal or a strong family history of these conditions. Usually the benefits of taking tamoxifen outweigh these risks.


Fulvestrant is an anti-estrogen drug that reduces the number of estrogen receptors on breast cancer cells. It is given as an injection into the muscles of the buttocks.

Fulvestrant is used in post-menopausal women if the breast cancer has grown after they were treated with tamoxifen. It is also used in postmenopausal women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that have never been treated with hormonal therapy.

What Is Hormonal Therapy

Breast Cancer Hormone Therapy: What Is It And Who Needs It?

Hormones help control how cells grow and what they do in the body. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone, particularly oestrogen, can encourage some breast cancers to grow.

Hormonal therapies reduce the amount of oestrogen in the body or stop it attaching to the cancer cells. They only work for women with oestrogen-receptor positive cancers.

Your cancer doctor will advise you to take hormonal therapy to reduce the risk of the breast cancer coming back. It also helps reduce the risk of getting a new breast cancer in your other breast. Sometimes hormonal therapy drugs are given before surgery to shrink a cancer and avoid a mastectomy.

You usually take hormonal therapy drugs for a number of years. For some women, this could be up to 10 years. You usually start taking them after surgery or chemotherapy.

The type of hormonal therapy you have depends on:

  • whether you have been through the menopause or not
  • the risk of the cancer coming back
  • how the side effects are likely to affect you.

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Hormone Therapy Can Cause Side Effects

Because hormone therapy blocks your bodys ability to produce hormones or interferes with how hormones behave, it can cause unwanted side effects. The side effects you have will depend on the type of hormone therapy you receive and how your body responds to it. People respond differently to the same treatment, so not everyone gets the same side effects. Some side effects also differ if you are a man or a woman.

Some common side effects for men who receive hormone therapy for prostate cancer include:

Aromatase Inhibitors Reduce Estrogen By Blocking An Enzyme Called Aromatase And Keeping It From Converting Androgens Into Estrogen

All three aromatase inhibitors have known side effects. The most common is bone and joint pain. Other side effects include fatigue, dizziness, hot flashes, and weight gain. All of these side effects can affect your quality of life, and you may be able to tolerate some more than others. If you find that the side effects are keeping you from taking the hormone therapy that you were prescribed, you can talk to your doctor about switching to one of the other aromatase inhibitors. You can also discuss switching to tamoxifen.

In June 2014, ASCO updated its hormone treatment guidelines. The new guidelines incorporate new research findings, including a large study that found 10 years of tamoxifen was more effective than five years of tamoxifen followed by a placebo.

The new treatment guidelines for women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer are:

Premenopausal women:

  • Tamoxifen for five years.
  • After five years assess menopausal status. If not yet menopausal, consider continuing on tamoxifen for five more years. If menopausal, consider staying on tamoxifen or switching to an aromatase inhibitor.

Postmenopausal women:

  • Tamoxifen for 10 years or
  • An aromatase inhibitor for five years or
  • Tamoxifen for five years followed by an aromatase inhibitor for up to five years or
  • Tamoxifen for two to three years followed by an AI for up to five years

You can also use this page on to understand your treatment options and possible side effects.

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Intermittent Versus Continuous Hormone Therapy

Most prostate cancers treated with hormone therapy become resistant to this treatment over a period of months or years. Some doctors believe that constant androgen suppression might not be needed, so they advise intermittent treatment. The hope is that giving men a break from androgen suppression will also give them a break from side effects like decreased energy, sexual problems, and hot flashes.

In one form of intermittent hormone therapy, treatment is stopped once the PSA drops to a very low level. If the PSA level begins to rise, the drugs are started again. Another form of intermittent therapy uses hormone therapy for fixed periods of time for example, 6 months on followed by 6 months off.

At this time, it isnt clear how this approach compares to continuous hormone therapy. Some studies have found that continuous therapy might help men live longer, but other studies have not found such a difference.

Hormonal Therapy Is Not Hrt

Supporting Your Bodys Fight Against Breast Cancer With ...

Hormonal therapy works against hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. It is completely different from hormone replacement therapy , which some women take during or following menopause. HRT is not a breast cancer treatment, and for women with a breast cancer diagnosis, HRT is considered relatively unsafe.

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How Long Do I Take Hormonal Therapy

How long you take hormonal therapy depends on if you’re taking it before or after surgery as well as cancer stage and any side effects you may have.

Postmenopausal women taking hormonal therapy AFTER surgery for early-stage hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer usually take a hormonal therapy medicine for 5 years. Doctors call this adjuvant hormonal therapy.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you take a different hormonal therapy medicine after the 5 years of the first one is up. For example, if you’ve taken tamoxifen for 5 years, your doctor may recommend that you take an aromatase inhibitor for an additional period of time. Doctors call this extended adjuvant hormonal therapy. Researchers are studying how long the second hormonal therapy medicine should be taken after 5 years of the first one.

Postmenopausal women taking hormonal therapy BEFORE surgery for early-stage hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer may take hormonal therapy medicine for 3 to 6 months before surgery to shrink the cancer. Doctors call this neoadjuvant hormonal therapy. How long you take hormonal therapy before surgery depends on your unique situation, so your treatment plan may be very different from someone elseâs. Your doctor may recommend hormonal therapy before surgery if the cancer is large.

You and your doctor will look carefully at all your hormonal therapy medicine options and decide on a treatment plan that is best for you and your unique situation.

Drugs That Block Estrogen

Some drugs work by blocking estrogen from causing cancer cells to grow.

Tamoxifen is a drug that prevents estrogen from telling cancer cells to grow. It has a number of benefits:

  • Taking Tamoxifen for 5 years after breast cancer surgery cuts the chance of cancer coming back by half. Some studies show that taking it for 10 years may work even better.
  • It reduces the risk that cancer will grow in the other breast.
  • It slows the growth and shrinks cancer that has spread.
  • It reduces the risk of getting cancer in women who are high risk.

Other drugs that work in a similar way are used to treat advanced cancer that has spread:

  • Toremifene
  • Fulvestrant

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Turning Off The Ovaries With Medication

The ovaries can be shut down temporarily with medication. This is usually done by giving a course of monthly injections of goserelin . This gradually causes the levels of oestrogen to fall, which leads to temporary menopause.The menstrual periods stop and other symptoms of menopause may develop . These symptoms can be reversed. If the injections are stopped, the oestrogen levels and menstrual periods return to normal. Some women who are considering having their ovaries removed have these injections for a few months to test out the menopausal symptoms. They still have the choice of reversing the effect if the side effects are too intense. The use of goserelin is strictly controlled by the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and may not be available to all women.

Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer Treatment At Home

Making Endocrine (Hormonal) Therapy for Breast Cancer More Effective


Breastcancer is a type of cancer that develops in breast tissue. Some common signshelp you to identify that you are suffering from breast cancer are a lump inthe breast a change in breast shape, dimpling on the skin, fluid coming fromthe nipple, a newly inverted nipple, or a red or scaly patch of skin. Whilesuffering from prostate cancer you may also experience bone pain, swollen lymphnodded shortness of breath, or yellow skin.

Breastcancer risks factors for developing tumor include being female,obesity, a lack of physical exercise, and alcohols hormone replacement therapyduring menopause, ionizing radiation. Some other causes associated with womenbreast cancer is early menstruation or not having children at the right timeor getting pregnant late in life sometimes the family history of breast cancer also causes breast cancer.

There aremultiple medications are available for treatment but here we willdiscuss hormone therapy for breast cancer treatment.

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How Hormone Therapy Works

Oestrogen and progesterone are hormones which are naturally produced in the human body. Before menopause, oestrogen is mostly produced by the ovaries. After menopause, when the ovaries are no longer active, a small amount continues to be produced in other tissues such as fat, muscle and adrenal glands.

Normal breast cells contain receptors that are able to recognise these hormones and allow them to access the cells, where they release signals encouraging growth and development. All breast cancers are tested for the presence of these oestrogen and progesterone receptors, using tissue taken at the time of biopsy or surgery. Approximately 70% of breast cancers retain these receptors, and rely on these hormones to grow. These hormone-sensitive cancers are described as oestrogen receptor positive and/or progesterone receptor positive .

Hormone therapy is also used to shrink or slow the growth of a breast cancer when surgery is not appropriate, for example in an older person with other major health issues. It is also used to help shrink advanced stage breast cancers or slow their growth.

Hormone therapy for breast cancer is not the same as HRT . HRT raises the level of oestrogen +/- progesterone in the body and is not used in the treatment of breast cancer.

For The Population Studied As A Whole There Was An Overall Deterioration In The Quality Of Life At Two Years From Diagnosis This Deterioration Was Greater In Patients Who Had Received Hormone Therapy Especially After The Menopause By Contrast Chemotherapy Had A Bigger Effect On Quality Of Life In Non

It is important in the future that we are able to predict which women are going to develop severe symptoms with anti-hormonal treatment so that we can support them, added Dr Vaz-Luis. While it has been shown that hormone therapy provides a real benefit in reducing the relapse rate of hormone-dependent cancers which represent 75% of all breast cancers, the deterioration in quality of life may also have a negative effect on patient adherence to treatment. It is, therefore, important to offer them symptomatic treatment, in particular for menopausal symptoms, musculoskeletal pain, depression, severe fatigue and cognitive dysfunction and to combine this with supportive measures such as physical exercise and cognitive behaviour therapy.

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Hormonal Therapies Slow Or Stop Breast Cancers Growth By Changing The Hormonal Milieu

For early stage cancer, these treatments include tamoxifen and a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors . Three aromatase blocking drugs are available clinically. Anastrozole and letrozole work by reversibly blocking this enzyme, while exemestane binds to the enzyme and inactivates it permanently. Studies suggest that all three are equally effective. Women with metastatic breast cancer also have other hormone therapy options, including fulvesrant , megestrol acetate , and tormifene .

Breast Cancer And Tamoxifen

Breast cancer hormonal or anti

Tamoxifen is a pill that doctors have prescribed for more than 30 years to treat breast cancer. It works by keeping estrogen from attaching to the cancer cells.

Doctors first used tamoxifen to treat women whose breast cancer had spread in their bodies because it slowed or stopped the growth of the disease. The drug also lowers the chance that some early stage breast cancers will come back. And it can lower the risk that a woman will get cancer in the other breast later on.

Women who are at high risk for breast cancer can take tamoxifen to try to lower their chances of getting the disease. Itâs an alternative to watchful waiting or having surgery to remove a breast, called a mastectomy, before they get the disease.

Tamoxifen is an option for:

  • Treatment of the earliest form of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ , along with surgery
  • Treatment of abnormal cells in the glands that make milk, called lobular carcinoma in situ , to lessen the chance that theyâll become more advanced breast cancer
  • Treatment of breast cancer in men and women whose cancers use estrogen
  • Treatment of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or that comes back after treatment
  • To prevent breast cancer in women at high risk for the disease

Some people should not use tamoxifen:

Talk to your doctor to see if tamoxifen is right for you.

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