Hormone therapy for breast cancer is the type of treatment for cancers that are hormone sensitive. The most common hormone therapy for breast cancer blocks the hormones from attaching to the receptors on the cancer cells or reducing the production of hormones in the body. Below, we will look at how hormone therapy helps in breast cancer treatment.
Role of hormone therapy in breast cancer treatment
Hormone therapy for breast cancer is effective for breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones. Doctors refer to such cancers as ER-positive (estrogen receptor-positive cancers) or PR -positive (progesterone receptor-positive cancers). This indicates that breast cancers get more intensified by natural hormones such as progesterone and estrogen.
This treatment helps in preventing breast cancer from coming back. It also reduces the risk of cancer from developing in tissues of the breast. Hormone therapy further stops or slows the cancer growth. It reduces the tumour size prior to breast cancer surgery.
Hormone therapy is also given after the surgery for around five years. More than five years of treatment is given to women who are at a higher risk of getting their cancer back. When breast cancer comes back after the surgery or spreads to the other parts of the body, hormone therapy is used.
Estrogen receptor blockers
Toremifene is a drug that is not used much and is suitable for treating women who have metastatic breast cancer. If tamoxifen is used and does not work anymore, toremifene drugs are taken orally.
Tamoxifen prevents the estrogen from connecting to the cancerous cells, that makes them divide. It acts as anti-estrogen in the cells of the breast and as estrogen in the other tissues, such as those of the bones and the uterus. Due to this, it is known as SERM or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator. It is used for treating women who suffer from breast cancer but have not undergone menopause, says the best breast cancer doctor in Kolkata.
Estrogen level reducers
Aromatase Inhibitors, or AIs, are the drugs that stop estrogen production in your body. Before reaching menopause, most estrogen is produced by your ovaries. In women whose ovaries stop working, either because they are going through menopause or due to some treatments, estrogen is made in the body fat by aromatase, an enzyme. AIs prevent the aromatase from making estrogen.
Hormone therapy works by reducing the level of the estrogen and progesterone reaching the cancer cells in the breast. This decreases the chances of the patient getting cancer back.