Many women are looking for ways to ease the symptoms of menopause. One common way is through hormone therapy. I recent found a web resource created by The Federal Drug Administration that I want to share with you. This website lists the different types of hormone therapies – estrogen-only, progestin-only, and medications that combine estrogen and progestin.
The federal agency recommends that women interested in hormone therapy should consult their doctor before starting a regimen. Some research has found that hormone therapy may increase women’s risk of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and gallbladder disease. Additionally, estrogen-only therapy also may increase the chances that a woman who has a uterus may develop endometrial cancer. Therefore, women should take the lowest dose that provides relief for them for the shortest time. Women also should not take hormone therapy if they are pregnant, have unusual vaginal bleeding, have (or previously ha...
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...
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:...
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