Saturday, October 28, 2006

What are the hormone therapy choices?

If a breast cancer has estrogen and progesterone receptors, which means that these hormones may fuel the growth of these cancers, the treatment options are broader.

Tamoxifen, of course, is the gold standard, and this drug is given to women with hormone-responsive breast cancer. It attaches to the estrogen receptor and deprives the cancer of a needed hormone.

It thereby starves the cancer cell of a needed nutrient, if you will. The aromatase inhibitors do this by shutting off the residual production of estrogen at sites outside the ovaries. But they're in a sense doing the same thing as tamoxifen.

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