How effective is endocrine therapy for breast cancer? Hormone therapy following surgery, radiation or chemotherapy has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in people with early-stage hormone-sensitive breast cancers. It can also effectively reduce the risk of metastatic breast cancer growth and progression in people with hormone-sensitive tumors.

When do you start endocrine therapy for breast cancer? When is hormone therapy used for breast cancer? Hormone therapy is often used after surgery (as adjuvant therapy) to help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Sometimes it is started before surgery (as neoadjuvant therapy). It is usually taken for at least 5 years.

What is the best hormone therapy for breast cancer? Tamoxifen is one of the most commonly used hormone therapies for breast cancer. Women who are still having periods (are premenopausal) and women who have had their menopause (post menopausal) can take tamoxifen. You might also have this treatment if you are a man with breast cancer.

What are examples of endocrine therapy? 

Types of hormone therapy
  • Aromatase inhibitors (AIs), such as anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole.
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), such as tamoxifen and raloxifene.
  • Estrogen receptor antagonists, such as fulvestrant and toremifene.

How effective is endocrine therapy for breast cancer? – Additional Questions

Is hormone therapy worse than chemotherapy?

Contrary to the commonly held view, 2 years after diagnosis, hormone therapy, a highly effective breast cancer treatment worsens quality of life to a greater extent and for a longer time, especially in menopausal patients. The deleterious effects of chemotherapy are more transient.

What cancers are treated with hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy is used to treat prostate and breast cancers that use hormones to grow. Hormone therapy is most often used along with other cancer treatments.

What is primary endocrine therapy?

This is known as primary endocrine therapy. Primary endocrine therapy using tamoxifen (a drug which blocks oestrogen receptors on the cancer cell, inhibiting its growth) was first suggested as a treatment for older women in the 1980s.

Is endocrine therapy the same as hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy (also called hormonal therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy) slows or stops the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors by blocking the body’s ability to produce hormones or by interfering with effects of hormones on breast cancer cells.

What are endocrine medications?

Endocrine drugs are agents directed to a malfunctioning endocrine path. Several agents are secreted in or target the nervous system, and are thus more prone to cause neurologic adverse events (AEs).

Is endocrine therapy systemic therapy?

Systemic therapies are drugs that spread throughout the body to treat cancer cells wherever they may be. They include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted drugs, and immunotherapy.

Is tamoxifen considered endocrine therapy?

Endocrine therapies such as tamoxifen have revolutionized the treatment of breast cancer, resulting in significant decreases in cancer-related mortality. Aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole and letrozole have further improved breast cancer survival.

What are side effects of hormone therapy?

Side effects of hormone therapy in women
  • Tiredness. You may feel more tired when you are taking hormone therapy.
  • Digestive system problems. Hormone therapy can cause a few problems with your digestive system.
  • Menopausal symptoms.
  • Hair thinning.
  • Muscle and bone changes.
  • Weight gain.
  • Headaches.
  • Memory problems.

When is hormone therapy recommended?

Hormone therapy is an acceptable option for the relatively young (up to age 59 or within 10 years of menopause) and healthy women who are bothered by moderate to severe menopausal symptoms.

How long do you have hormone treatment before radiotherapy?

Hormone therapy can help shrink the prostate and any cancer that has spread, and make the treatment more effective. You may be offered hormone therapy for up to six months before radiotherapy.

What are alternatives to hormone replacement therapy?

What are the alternatives to HRT?
  • Herbal medicine – a practice based on the use of plants or plant extracts to relieve symptoms, e.g. evening primrose oil or St John’s Wort.
  • Alternative medicine – a range of therapies used instead of conventional medicine, such as acupressure, acupuncture and homeopathy.

Should a 65 year old woman take estrogen?

On the other hand, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says: “Because some women aged 65 years and older may continue to need systemic hormone therapy for the management of vasomotor symptoms, the ACOG recommends against routine discontinuation of systemic estrogen at age 65 years.

Is 67 too old for hormone replacement therapy?

Women older than 60 or 65 don’t automatically have to stop taking HRT and can consider continuing HRT beyond age 65 for persistent hot flashes, quality-of-life issues, or prevention of osteoporosis after appropriate evaluation and counseling of the benefits and risks of HRT.

Does estrogen cause dementia?

Estrogen therapy taken around the time of menopause was associated with a lowered risk of dementia in old age, but when taken in late life was linked with an increased dementia risk, according to a study led by a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and the University of California, San Francisco (

Is 70 too old to start HRT?

It is not usually appropriate for women over 60 to be starting HRT but as the WHI study shows, women initiating it over 60 years do not seem to be at increased risk of cardiovascular events or mortality. Many women seek advice on the effects of HRT on sexual activity and desire.

Can you stay on HRT for life?

There’s no limit on how long you can take HRT, but talk to a GP about how long they recommend you take the treatment. Most women stop taking it once their menopausal symptoms pass, which is usually after a few years.

Who should not take HRT?

HRT should not be recommended for disease prevention, except for women under 60 years of age with substantially increased risk of bone fractures, or in the setting of premature menopause.