Hormone therapy for breast cancer
Two common types of breast cancer hormone therapy are:
- Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs): These drugs bind to estrogen receptors in the breast cancer cells to block estrogen from reaching cancer cells, which prevents their growth. Tamoxifen is a commonly used hormone therapy used to prevent breast cancer recurrence. This drug is also used for post-menopausal women at high risk for developing breast cancer.
- Aromatase inhibitors: These breast cancer hormone therapy drugs block estrogen production by binding to the enzyme responsible for producing estrogen (the aromatase enzyme). Once estrogen production is halted, the cancer cells starve from lack of estrogen, which prevents them from growing and dividing.
We understand there are many factors that can influence your breast cancer treatment choices, such as your desire to have children. We will listen to you and work as a team to develop a breast cancer treatment plan to meet your individual needs.
We may use hormone therapy in combination with other breast cancer treatments. For example, prior to menopause, the ovaries are the main source of the body's estrogen (the hormone that makes some breast cancers grow). Some women who have gone through menopause may decide to have surgery to remove their ovaries.