About 12.4% of US women develop breast cancer during their lifetime. 2018 saw 266,120 cases of invasive and 63,960 cases on non-invasive breast cancer. Over the previous decades of research, experts suggest that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is significantly responsible for increased breast cancer risk in menopausal and post-menopausal women. It is the second most common form of cancer among American women.
What is hormone therapy for breast cancer?
Although people tend to believe that cancer always calls for chemotherapy, the situation might be different for many after diagnosis. Once the oncologist makes a confirmed diagnosis of the location, type, and nature of the cancer cells, he or she may recommend a variety of treatment options, one of which may or may not be chemotherapy.
One of the most non-invasive forms of therapy for several hormone-dependent breast cancers is hormone therapy. Since some types of breast cancers depend on hormonal signals for growth and proliferation, medications like anastrozole inhibit estrogen production in the body. It is a well-known treatment of breast cancer that has cells with estrogen receptors (ER+).
How and when does anastrozole work?
Arimidex a common cancer treatment for post-menopausal women with ER+ primary breast cancer. Anastrozole blocks the enzyme aromatase that is necessary for the synthesis of estrogen. It is a brand-name drug that also treats metastatic ER+ breast cancer. There are two things you must remember about Arimidex therapy –
- It only works on cancers that have the ER+ trait, and it has no effect on cancer cells that only test positive for progesterone receptors (PR+).
- For cancers that test PR+ and ER+, the oncologist might recommend a cocktail of drugs to tackle cancer.
Arimidex plays a critical role in adjuvant treatment. Women receive anastrozole after their surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. It is effective in treating recurring breast cancer in the cases of local recurrence and regional recurrence. Sometimes, oncologists rely on anastrozole treatment when menopausal women test positive for secondary breast cancer.
When should you speak with your oncologist about Arimidex?
In most cases, the specialist prescribes other drugs including goserelin to treat breast cancer in pre-menopausal women. Anastrozole cannot stop the cancer cells from proliferating on its own when the ovaries are still synthesizing estrogen. It needs help from other inhibitors like goserelin. If there is any doubt about attaining menopause, you should immediately speak with your oncologist before he or she prescribes Arimidex. Several conclusive blood tests can find the levels of the female hormone in the blood, and that will help in determining the most comprehensive treatment method available.
How long does Arimidex treatment go on?
In the case of primary breast cancer, people receive anastrozole for five years as oral medication. Most commonly, doctors replace the drug with tamoxifen after five years. However, you might receive tamoxifen early, within two years of taking Arimidex bringing the hormone therapy down to 5 years in total. The course of hormone therapy usually depends upon the type of cancer a person has.