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About Breast Cancer>Treatments > Hormonal therapy

Hormonal therapy

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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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Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to create a world that understands there is more than one way to have breast cancer. To fulfill its mission of providing trusted information and a community of support to those impacted by the disease, Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers on-demand emotional, practical, and evidence-based content. For over 30 years, the organization has remained committed to creating a culture of acceptance — where sharing the diversity of the lived experience of breast cancer fosters self-advocacy and hope. For more information, learn more about our programs and services.

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