What To Expect From Hormonal Therapy For Breast Cancer
Medical advancements have opened the door to many innovative breast cancer treatment options, including hormonal therapy. Based on the stage of cancer, its status, and your overall health, your healthcare team might suggest this form of treatment for you. However, while you might feel confident in this decision, it is normal to have questions about the process, especially if you are unfamiliar. Learn more about what you should expect from breast cancer hormonal therapy.
Before you can get an accurate assessment of what to expect from this hormone therapy, you first need to get a general idea of what the process involves. Breast cancer needs certain nutrients to grow and mature. Sometimes, cancer treatment consists of depriving the cancer of its nutrient source.
For some breast cancers, hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, serve as their nutrient source. This therapy works by blocking the breast cancer's ability to retrieve these nutrients for growth, which can eventually lead to their depletion. Generally, this medication is administered via an oral tablet, but some topical solutions may be available too.
If you are prescribed this form of treatment, you should expect to have to undergo a series of follow-up appointments. One reason that hormone therapy is often not used for aggressive forms of breast cancer is that it is a slow-working process.
Given the slower speed by which it works, it can take time for the cancer cells to be fully depleted. To ensure that the therapy is working, and your levels are decreasing, your provider will want you to undergo periodic testing, so be sure you are prepared to take the medication long-term and commit to the follow-up appointments.
Potential Side Effects
As with any medical treatment, some level of side effects is normal. As previously mentioned, hormone therapy is prescribed in a variety of different forms. As a result, different medications will have different side effects, also how a medication targets a person will depend on their overall health.
Some of the relatively common side effects include vaginal dryness and night sweats. However, remember that your healthcare team has concluded that the potential side effects of therapy are far less concerning than the risk of the cancer spreading.
For the most accurate assessment of what you should expect, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional. Be sure to speak with your healthcare team to learn more about what you should expect.
For more info about breast cancer care, contact a local company.