Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer
Drug treatments which targets the breast cancer sensitive for certain hormones are called as referred as
hormone therapy for breast cancer
. The most common form for this is by blocking the estrogen from binding to the cancerous cells or by reducing the production of estrogen.
This is usually given if you have a operation done to remove the cancer. This is even recommended before the operation to reduce the size of the tumor. If the cancer has already spread then the hormone therapy will shrink and control the cancer. This therapy is taken for five years.
Reasons for Using Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer:
Few breast cancers feed on the hormone called estrogen and are called as estrogen receptor positive tumor. This is judged through microscopic analysis of the cancer biopsy. This therapy helps in:
- Preventing reoccurrence of the cancer at the same location where the tumor has been removed.
- Decreasing the risk of the cancer to spread to other breast tissues.
- Stopping the growth of the cancer that has spread.
- Reducing the size of the tumor before the surgery is done.
Risks Involved in Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer:
Hormonal drugs have got many side effects as hormones are the main support system for our body functionalities. The most common side effects related to this therapy are:
- Vaginal discharges
- Irregular period cycle
- Vaginal irritation and dryness of vagina
- Hot flashes
- Headaches and stress
- Vomiting and nausea
- Rashes in skin and face.
- Muscle and joint pains
- Infertility in men
There are few common but very serious side effects. These include:
- Cancer of uterine
- Veins getting blood clots
- Heart stroke
- Bone loss leading to breaking of bone.
- Heart Disease and complications.