Hormone therapy can only treat people with hormone-sensitive or hormone receptor-positive tumors. This treatment will be based on whether you have pre or postmenopausal. Hormone therapy is also called hormonal therapy, or endocrine therapy, or hormone treatment that helps decrease the risk of cancer. 

This treatment won’t work on people with hormone receptor-negative tumors.

Why Hormone Therapy Is Done?

Hormone treatment for breast cancer is a treatment for people with breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones.

The doctor described these cancers as progesterone receptor-positive (PR positive) or estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive). It means that these breast cancers are fed by the natural hormones estrogen or progesterone.

The doctor who specializes in examining blood and body tissue(pathologist) decides whether your cancer is ER-positive or PR positive by testing a sample of your cancer cells to check if they have receptors for progesterone or estrogen.

Hormonal Therapy for breast cancer can prevent

  • Reduce the risk of cancer developing in other breast tissue
  • It also prevents that cancer won’t reoccur again
  • It helps slow or stops the growth of cancer that has developed on the breast
  • It helps reduce the size of a tumor before surgery.

The common method of hormone therapy for breast cancer serves by preventing hormones from joining receptors on cancer cells or treating them by reducing the body’s production of hormones.

This therapy is only useful for patients with breast cancers who have receptors for the naturally occurring hormones estrogen or progesterone. This therapy may also be used to shrink a tumor before the surgery, and this may benefit obliterate cancer completely.

If cancer has developed into other parts of the body, this hormone therapy for breast cancer may help manage it.

Risks of This Therapy

Hormone treatment for breast cancer has some side effects.

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue Nausea
  • Vaginal irritation or dryness
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Infertility in men with breast cancer

Other mild side effects are

  • Uterine cancer or Endometrial cancer
  • Blood clots in veins
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cataracts
  • Osteoporosis


Medications will block hormones from joining to the receptors on the cancer cells.

If the hormones can’t reach the cancer cells, the tumor growth may reduce and the cells can die.

Breast cancer medications may include:

Toremifene (Fareston)

It is a pill that should be taken daily. It is mainly used to treat breast cancer to reduce spread to other parts of the body. This pill is approved for use in postmenopausal women.

Fulvestrant (Faslodex)

It helps block the effect of estrogen in the entire body. It is referred to as injected estrogen receptor-blocking medicine. Fulvestrant is also used to treat postmenopausal women who have advanced breast cancer.


Tamoxifen is mainly taken in tablet form. It is commonly used to decrease the risk of cancer recurrence in women who got treatment for early-stage breast cancer. This medication is also used to treat advanced cancer.


This hormone treatment is widely used to treat cancer patients who have hormone-sensitive or hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

Hormonal therapy provides successful results for most people with hormone-positive breast cancer. People who use hormone treatment have a longer survival rate than those who do not.

If you experience breast cancer you should talk to your physician or oncologist about whether you can benefit from this hormone treatment or not. This treatment is to reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer in women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

It also increases life span and decreases cancer-related symptoms in people who have metastatic or late-stage hormone-positive breast cancer. The treatment has various options based on your menopause status. You should learn your option before getting the treatment.