Estrogen & breast cancer

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Some types of breast cancer are affected by hormones in the blood. ER-positive and PR-positive breast cancer cells have receptors proteins that attach to estrogen, which helps them grow. There are different ways to stop estrogen from attaching to these receptors.

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Epidemiological and experimental evidence implicates oestrogens in the aetiology of breast cancer. Most established risk factors for breast cancer in humans probably act through hormone-related pathways, and increased concentrations of circulating oestrogens have been found to be strongly associated with increased risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This article explores the evidence for the hypothesis that oestrogen exposure is a major determinant of risk for breast cancer.

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What is hormone therapy? Who is given hormone therapy? When is hormone therapy given?

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Hormones like estrogen and progesterone are chemicals produced by glands in the body. Normally, these hormones help regulate body cycles, like menstruation. However, sometimes these same hormones can cause cancer to grow. The pathologist will perform tests on the breast cancer cells to determine if they have receptors that feed on estrogen or progesterone, stimulating their growth.

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Estrogen receptor-positive ER-positive breast cancer is the most common type of breast cancer diagnosed today. According to the American Cancer Societyabout 2 out of every 3 cases of breast cancer are hormone receptor-positive. Most of these cases are ER-positive, meaning that there are estrogen receptors on the surface of the cell that bind to estrogen.

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Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs. Type a minimum of three characters then press UP or DOWN on the keyboard to navigate the autocompleted search results. There are several different types of hormone therapies.

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Richard J. Two recent studies have suggested that progestins substantially increase the relative risk RR of breast cancer when added to estrogens as hormone replacement therapy HRT 12 see Figs. If correct, this information could substantially change clinical practice.

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Reproductive history and breast cancer risk View all 7 Articles. For decades, it was presumed that the number of years of exposure drove the increased risk, however, recent epidemiological data have shown that early life exposure young menarche has a more significant effect on cancer risk than late menopause. Thus, rather than the overall exposure it seems that the timing of hormone exposure plays a major role in defining breast cancer risk. In support of this, it is also known that aberrant hormonal exposure prior to puberty can also increase breast cancer risk, yet the elevated estrogen levels during pregnancy decrease breast cancer risk.

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This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. Learn how to read a research table.

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Member contributors included Ruth Farrell, MD. This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances as of the date issued and is subject to change. The information should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed.


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