Endometrial cancer originates in the lining of the uterus. Since the development and spread of endometrial cancer largely depends on the presence of estrogen in the body, hormone therapy is normally given after surgery to reduce the possibility of recurrent cancer in the future.
According to MedlinePlus, age is a risk factor for the development of endometrial cancer. Most cases of the disease affect women who are between the ages of 60 and 70, with cases affecting someone younger than 40 being extremely rare. Symptoms include abnormal or excessively heavy bleeding, pain in the lower abdomen, or whitish discharge from the vagina that occurs after menopause.
Endometrial cancer treatment
When the tumor is caught in time, surgery is an effective method of treatment, removing all ovaries. In other cases, chemotherapy or radiation are both effective alternative measures, consisting of the demand for drugs or high levels of targeted radiation used to destroy cancer cells.
According to the American Cancer Society, the goal of hormone therapy in endometrial cancer treatment is to reduce the body’s level of estrogen to reduce the chances that cancer will retrain in the future, or slow the spread of cancer cells existing until they can be effectively addressed through other methods of treatment.
Hormone therapy Drugs
According to the ACS, the main drugs used in hormone therapy are progestogens. These drugs work to reduce circulating levels of estrogen in the body, slowing the development of cancer cells. Another commonly used drug is tamoxifen, which is a drug often used to fight breast cancer, although it can also work to prevent estrogen from stimulating the growth of cancer cells. A third alternative prescription are drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, which force the ovaries to produce less estrogen. Side effects of these medications include menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes including, weight gain, vaginal dryness and possibly decreased bone density.
Hormonal therapy methods
In addition to prescribing medications to change the body’s hormonal balance, it may be necessary to take other more drastic measures. According to the ACS, additional options for the fight against endometrial cancer with hormone therapy include either removing the ovaries surgically or using radiotherapy aimed at making the ovaries disabled by removing the body’s main source of estrogen production. p>
New classes of drugs are being studied all the time for their potential benefit in hormone therapy for endometrial cancer. According to the ACS, a class of drugs with a potential is called aromatase inhibitors. These drugs act to prevent the conversion of other substances to estrogens, further reducing the natural levels of the body. Side effects include muscle aches and hot flashes.