Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

NGMC is pleased to offer a variety of breast cancer treatments close to home. With treatment locations throughout Northeast Georgia, patients can receive the expert care they need, surrounded by family and loved ones. Our seasoned oncologists have years of experience treating various types of breast cancer and will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or hormone therapy. 

When is hormone therapy for breast cancer recommended?

Hormone therapy for breast cancer is mostly used after breast cancer surgery to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. However, some doctors may recommend it before surgery to reduce the size of the cancer before the procedure.

How successful is hormone therapy for breast cancer?

Hormone-receptor positive cancers often respond well to hormonal treatment. At NGMC, depending on the patient’s age and other medical concerns, either tamoxifen (which blocks the effects of estrogen on breast tissue) or an aromatase-inhibitor (such as anastrazole or letrozole) which blocks the formation of estrogen in the body may be recommended. Both of these hormonal treatment pills generally have very few significant side effects.

Your oncologist will instruct you on the best course of treatment based on your situation as well as expected outcomes.

Types of Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

If your oncologist has suggested hormone treatment for breast cancer, it is because you have hormone receptor-positive cancer. Estrogen and progesterone are natural hormones in your body that can help cancer cells grow and spread. Hormone therapy is used to reduce your hormone levels and in return, limit or prevent the presence of cancer as well.

The American Cancer Society lists the following types of hormone therapy for breast cancer:

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs

These drugs are often in a pill form, taken by mouth to block estrogen from connecting to cancer cells in the breast, but do not affect estrogen in other tissues like the uterus and bones.

  • Tamoxifen – most common and used to treat women who have or have not gone through menopause.
  • Toremifene – less common and only approved to treat post-menopausal women with metastatic breast cancer.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Degraders (SERDs)

Like SERMs, SERDs attach to estrogen receptors, but attach more tightly and cause them to break down throughout the body. They are used mostly in post-menopausal women to treat advanced forms of breast cancer.

  • Fulvestrant – given in injection form
  • Elacestrant – given in pill form
Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs)

These drugs stop most estrogen production in the body by preventing the enzyme aromatase from making estrogen. This form of hormone therapy is helpful for post-menopausal women, but can be combined with ovarian suppression for pre-menopausal women.

  • Letrozole
  • Anastrozole
  • Exemestane

Multi-Disciplinary Treatments

Our award-winning cancer program provides patients across North Georgia with access to an expert oncology team ready to develop the best multidisciplinary treatment plan for your breast cancer treatment. NGHS offers a range of treatments in addition to hormone therapy:

  • Advanced Imaging – Our cancer programs incorporate advanced imaging technologies including 3D mammography.
  • Breast Cancer Surgery – Our surgeons offer lumpectomy, mastectomy, and breast reconstruction.
  • Chemotherapy –Our oncologists can destroy hard-to-reach cancer cells with chemotherapy to lower the chance of cancer spreading to other areas of the body.
  • Radiation Therapy – NGHS provides radiation therapy that uses high-energy x-rays to target and kill cancer cells.

Patient Navigation

No one is prepared for a cancer diagnosis. Our patient navigation program is a free offering for patients who need help with anything from navigating the treatment journey to those who need transportation to appointments or nutritious food. Learn more and reach out to our cancer Patient Navigators.

Contact Us Today

For more information about breast cancer care available at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, call 770-219-8815.