Endocrine Therapy

Endocrine Therapy

December 14, 2021


The benefit of chemotherapy after surgery is to prevent possible recurrence of that breast cancer. But an important point of hormone positive breast cancer is that they’re growing with the help of the female hormones. So one of the main treatments that medical oncologists have is what’s called endocrine therapy, which is a way of blocking the female hormones. And generally with endocrine therapy, it’s just a daily pill that we give our patients. And sometimes we decide which treatment with the pill, if they’re pre-menopausal or if they’re post-menopausal. So generally that’s a daily pill that you would take and it’s anywhere from five to 10 years in length. And that’s determined a little bit more with some of the characteristics of your breast cancer in particular. So generally in younger premenopausal patients, we do a treatment called a SERM, which is selective estrogen receptor modulator. And this in essence blocks the estrogen that your body is still making from the ovaries. This is a very effective treatment for younger patients. For some patients with more advanced treatment, they actually need more of an endocrine or hormone blockade. And that’s a discussion for your medical oncologist.