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Q. I was diagnosed with DCIS , and have had a lumpectomy and radiation . Now my oncologist says I’ll be doing hormone therapy. I thought women with breast cancer weren’t supposed to do hormone therapy…? A. OK, you’re understandably confused. Hormone therapy is different than hormone REPLACEMENT therapy ( HRT ). HRT has been used for years to treat symptoms of menopause by increasing the level of certain hormones in your body, hormones whose level is dropping as your body slows down with age. HRT is NOT recommended for breast cancer survivors; and healthy women are cautioned about its use, since it’s been shown to raise the risk of breast cancer. Hormone therapy, on the other hand, is using drugs to block the production of hormones in your body, or to block the hormones’ ability to attach themselves to your cells. Certain types of breast cancer rely on hormones to grow. Without the necessary hormones, cancer cells die, and the spread of the disease is st...
For those with Migraines, the question of whether to use hormone therapies is one we often look at only in terms of the impact it will have on Migraine frequency and severity. There are, however other issues that need to be considered as well. Two new studies show that hormone therapy (HT) for women is linked to brain shrinkage, but not to the small brain lesions that are the first sign of cerebrovascular disease. The studies are published in the January 13, 2009, print issue of Neurology® , the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Earlier studies showed that estrogen with or without added progestin increased the risk for developing dementia and cognitive decline, or difficulty with thinking skills and memory in women age 65 and older. These new studies aimed to look at how the hormones might affect memory and thinking skills. The studies involved participants of the Women’s Health Initiative* hormone therapy clinical trials who also agreed to...
A number of new effective hormonal therapies have recently become available. These treatments help stop the hormone estrogen from fueling the growth of breast cancer cells. So which one do you try first? Your best option depends on how you've responded in the past to hormonal therapy, and whether you are still menstruating (having periods regularly).
If the cancer grew or otherwise got worse while you were taking one type of hormonal therapy, your doctor may switch you to a different type of hormonal treatment. But if more than two years has passed since you took the hormonal therapy and had a recurrence, you may still respond to that first medication you were taking. To find out all your choices, read the section below that applies to you.
If you are still having a period each month, you have several choices of hormonal therapy:
treatments that stop your ovaries from making estrogen (ovary shutdown)
tamoxifen AND ovary shutdown
Megace (chemical name:...
You should know
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