About Breast Cancer>Treatments > Hormonal therapy

Hormonal therapy


Hormonal therapy is using medicine or surgery to reduce estrogen in the body. Your doctor may also call this type of treatment endocrine or anti-estrogen therapy. It is used for cancers that depend on estrogen or progesterone to grow. These types of cancers may be called hormone receptor-positive or estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

In ductal carcinoma in situ and early-stage breast cancer, hormonal therapy can

  • reduce the risk of the disease recurring, or coming back
  • prevent new breast cancers
  • improve survival

In metastatic breast cancer, the goal of hormonal therapy is to shrink or control the cancer.

This section will help you understand how hormonal therapy works, the impact of your menopausal status, the types of medicines and surgeries available and things you can do when you finish treatment.

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