Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. In the US 40,000 women die of this cancer each year. Before I begin this post, even though breast cancer is extremely uncommon in teen girls as their breasts are still developing it is important to self examine or at least learn how to self examine from age 17 and learn what feels normal, as if someone is unfortunate enough to get breast cancer, it increases the likelihood of it being caught quickly.
Some forms of breast cancer can be due to issues with hormones. These hormones being oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is the primary female sex hormone as well as a medication. It is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics. Progesterone is another female sex hormone which is used to stimulate the uterus to prepare for pregnancy.
One type of breast cancer is oestrogen receptor (ER) positive. This type of breast cancer is sensitive to estrogen and may respond to hormone therapy. There is then Progesterone receptor (PR) positive. This type of breast cancer is sensitive to progesterone and may respond to hormone therapy. Finally there is Hormone receptor (HR) negative. This type of cancer doesn’t have hormone receptors, so it won’t be affected by treatments aimed at blocking hormones in the body.
With the first two types mentioned, the hormones link to cancer as the cancerous cells have receptors that feed on those hormones. Which in turn stimulates the receptors causing the cell to grow.
The treatment for estrogen and progesterone receptor positive types is by using hormones. These may inhibit or stop the production of these hormones. The most common hormone therapy drug is tomoxifen. Which blocks oestrogen receptors in the cells. Hormone inhibitors on the other hand cut off the cancer cells food supply causing them to die, however it is to be noted that these are only used in post menopausal women.
Thank you for reading.