Breast cancer is a troublesome disease. There are many reasons that causing breast cancer. It has been clear that the hormone is one of the key factors of the development of breast cancer. Therefore, hormonal therapy is an important therapeutic strategy to control this cancer.
Hormonal Therapy to Control Estrogen Level
There are many cancer research on the removed tumours showing that the breast cancer is estrogen-receptor positive. Theoretically, this type of cancer should show response to hormonal therapy on estrogen. To manipulate the estrogen level in the body, the Tamoxifen has been introduced to the world.
Hormonal Therapy Using Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen is an adjuvant drug or antagonist of estrogen receptor in breast cancer cell. It helps in hormonal therapy to treat the breast cancer. However, several studies show that Tamoxifen may cause an increase of estrogen in the blood after 2 years hormonal therapy. This is because the breast cancer cells may become resistant to Tamoxifen hormonal therapy. Besides, the estrogen-receptor positive cells may easily mutate into new cancer cell type that can proliferate without the presence of estrogen. Thus, Tamoxifen fails to control cell proliferation after 2 years of hormonal therapy.
Despite of this, the Tamoxifen hormonal therapy is suggested not to use beyond a two year period. Tamoxifen may cause serious side effects after 2 years. It can increase risk of abnormal blood clots too. The patients with Tamoxifen hormonal therapy must follow the Thrombosis Prevention protocol to minimize the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
While taking Tamoxifen, women are recommended to take 4000 to 6000 IU of vitamin D3 and 3 to 50 mg of melatonin nightly. There are many clinical trials show that melatonin and vitamin D3 significantly enhance the efficiency of Tamoxifen. However, another side effect of taking vitamin D3 needs to be paid attention. Breast cancer patients may experience a high risk for developing blood calcium disorders causing kidney toxicity and abnormal calcium metabolism if taking high doses of vitamin D3. For all these reason, breast cancer patients who use therapeutic doses of vitamin D3 should carry out a regular blood chemistry panel to monitor the kidney toxicity and calcium imbalances before the problems become worse.
In conclusion, hormonal therapy is a great way to control the progression of breast cancer though it brings many side effects. I will talk more about the Tamoxifen in my coming post especially the aspects we really need to know before using it. 🙂