cancer specialist ghaziabad
hormone therapy breast cancer doctor

Hormone therapy its types and Precautions

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in breast cells. It is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, and the leading cause of cancer death among women. Hormone therapy is a type of cancer treatment that works by blocking or reducing the levels of hormones in the body. In this blog post, we will explore what it  is, how it works in breast cancer treatment, the precautions you should take, and how to consult a doctor.

What is Hormone Therapy?

Hormone therapy is a type of cancer treatment that works by blocking or reducing the levels of hormones in the body. Hormones are natural substances produced by the body that regulate various bodily functions. In breast cancer, certain hormones can stimulate the growth of cancer cells. It aims to block the effects of these hormones on cancer cells, preventing them from growing and spreading.

How it Works in Breast Cancer Treatment

Hormone therapy is most commonly used to treat breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive. This means that the cancer cells have receptors that can bind to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which can stimulate the growth of cancer cells. It  works by either blocking the production of these hormones or blocking the receptors on cancer cells, preventing the hormones from binding to them.

Types

There are several types that may be used in breast cancer treatment, including:

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs): These drugs work by blocking the estrogen receptors on cancer cells, preventing estrogen from binding to them. Examples of SERMs include tamoxifen and raloxifene.

Aromatase inhibitors: These drugs work by blocking the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogen. By reducing the levels of estrogen in the body, they can slow or stop the growth of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells. Examples of aromatase inhibitors include anastrozole, letrozole, and exemestane.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists: These drugs work by reducing the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body by suppressing the production of gonadotropins, which are hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone. Examples of GnRH agonists include goserelin and leuprolide.

Estrogen receptor down regulators: These drugs work by blocking the estrogen receptors on cancer cells and reducing their numbers. Examples of estrogen receptor down regulators include fulvestrant.

Precautions

While it can be an effective treatment for breast cancer, there are some precautions that you should take:

  • Talk to a breast cancer doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking before starting, as some may interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Be aware of the potential side effects, which may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and bone thinning.
  • If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor, as there may be medications or lifestyle changes that can help manage them.
  • Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as it can affect fertility and may not be safe during pregnancy.

How to Consult a Doctor

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are considering it as a treatment option, it is important to consult a doctor who specializes in breast cancer treatment. Your doctor can help determine if hormone therapy is right for you and can recommend the most appropriate type of hormone therapy based on your individual needs and medical history.

In conclusion, it is an important treatment option for breast cancer, particularly for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. The therapy works by blocking or reducing the levels of hormones that stimulate the growth of cancer cells. There are several types of hormone therapy available, including selective estrogen receptor modulators, aromatase inhibitors, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, and estrogen receptor downregulators. While it  can be effective, there are precautions to take, and it is important to consult with a doctor who specializes in breast cancer treatment to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.