Hormone Therapy

Hormones are naturally occurring substances in the body that stimulate the growth of hormone sensitive tissues, such as the breast or prostate gland. When cancer arises in breast tissue, its growth and spread may be caused by the body’s own hormones. Therefore, drugs that block hormone production can help fight breast cancer.

Hormone therapy, similar to chemotherapy, is a systemic treatment in that it may affect cancer cells throughout the body. It is often recommended to treat breast cancers that are hormone receptor-positive (ER-positive and PR-positive), which account for roughly 66 percent of all breast cancers. The growth of these tumors is fueled by hormones, allowing them to rapidly move to other areas of the body. Hormone therapy aims to reduce estrogen levels or deter hormones from attaching to the diseased cells.

Your physician may recommend hormone therapy after breast surgery, to reduce the risk of recurrence, or to treat recurrent breast cancer.