Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is sometimes used after surgery to decrease the change of the cancer returning or after it has already spread to shrink and contain it. This therapy is recommended for women who have a type of breast cancer that is sensitive to hormones—estrogen receptor positive (ER positive) and progesterone receptor positive (PR positive ) cancers. There are three primary ways to block hormones:

Medicines that block hormones from attaching to cells: Tamoxifen is the most commonly used drug to block estrogen from attaching to an estrogen receptor in cancer cells, which slows the growth and can kill cancer cells. This drug can be used in both pre- and post-menopausal women.

Side Effects

  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Cataracts
  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Uterine cancer

Medicines that stop the production of estrogen after menopause, such as a group of drugs called aromatase inhibitors that block the action of an enzyme that converts androgens in the body to estrogen.

Side Effects

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Bone thinning or osteoporosis

Medicines or surgery that stops hormone production in the ovaries for premenopausal women. Additionally some women can have surgery in the form of prophylactic oophorectomy to surgically stop hormone production.

Spotlight

Visit the Sisterhood of Survivorship page to read “Dena’s Story” — by a vulvar cancer survivor who has shared her story and wise words, and channeled her energy into her National Race to End Women’s Cancer team.

Awareness

The CDC recently announced that fewer than half of American children are given the HPV vaccination.

Research

As of the July 23 deadline, 55 research abstracts were submitted in hopes of receiving one of only 6 grants from the Foundation. This points to a need for more funding so that the Foundation may award grants to every deserving applicant.

Education

The Gynecologic Cancer Global Health Forum will be Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 in D.C.. For more information on educational events and courses, click here.