Hormone therapy slows or stops the growth of hormone-sensitive breast cancer.
About 70 – 80 percent of breast cancer are stimulated by the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. These breast cancer cells have proteins called hormone receptors. The receptors are activated when oestrogen and progesterone attach to them, which causes the cells to grow and divide.
Hormone therapy blocks hormones from attaching to the receptors on cancer cells or reduces the body’s production of hormones.
Types of hormone therapy for breast cancer
Your doctor may use different approaches to treat your breast cancer using hormone therapy. These include:
Medications to block hormones from attaching to cancer cells
Preventing hormones from attaching to cancer cells slows down the growth of the cancer. The cancerous cells may eventually die.
Medications to stop the production of oestrogen
Aromatase inhibitors are a class of medicines that reduce the amount of oestrogen in your body. This deprives cancer cells of the hormones they need to grow.
This therapy is only for women who have undergone menopause or have had their ovaries removed.
Treatments to stop ovarian functions
Women who are pre-menopausal may undergo treatments to stop their ovaries from producing hormones.
What can you expect in hormone therapy for breast cancer?
In most forms of hormone therapy for breast cancer, you will take daily medication in the form of pills. Some drugs are given through injections.
If you undergo hormone therapy for breast cancer, be prepared to take medication for a period of 5 – 10 years.
Your doctor will see you regularly to monitor your condition and ask you about any side effects. Many side effects can be controlled. Your doctor may also recommend periodic tests to detect cancer recurrence or progression.
Why choose Gleneagles Hospital?
At Gleneagles Hospital, your recovery is our priority. As an established private hospital in Singapore, our oncologists work with surgeons, radiotherapists, specialty nurses and counsellors to provide holistic care to you. We will help you manage your hormone therapy for breast cancer, to regain your quality of life.
Our cancer specialists and general surgeons are experienced in treating breast cancers using a range of therapies. We will help you select suitable treatments to match your goals and support you throughout your cancer treatment.