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

Vaccine efficacy against vulvar infection with HPV 16/18 was comparable to the efficacy found against cervical infection 4 years after vaccination, according to researchers with the National Cancer Institute.

Research

The Foundation has published its 2014-2015 Research Grants and Awards Booklet with Applications. Please consider applying to become part of an elite group of physician-scientists committed to the well-being of women at risk for/affected by gyn malignancies.

Education

The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course will be Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Boston. For more information on courses, click here.