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Naturopathic Medicine Blog

pros and cons of hormone therapy for breast cancer

Posted Nov 29th, 2020 in Acupuncture, Tips, Naturopathic Medicine, News

Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer is an essential Part of Treatment for Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer Cases. The impact of Hormone Therapies on the Survival and Disease control of Breast Cancer Patients was well established and proved by the Clinical Oncology Research https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5528370/    This article will discuss the pros and cons of hormone therapy for breast cancer



Although the Pros of the Hormonal Treatment of Breast Cancer are very clear as mentioned before in terms of improving patient’s survival and decreasing recurrence and this was already proved by clinical research, this treatment is not without side effects. The side effects spectrum of the two major Hormone Therapies for Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen and Letrozole (or other forms of  the AI or Aromatase Inhibitors class of Medications such as Anastrozole or Exemestane) varies between the two groups. For Tamoxifen (which is prescribed mainly to Premenopausal women) the toxic profile is mainly hot flushes, sweating (or flashes), deep venous thrombosis, vascular problems and endometrial hyperplasia or rarely endometrial cancer.

On the other hand, the Letrozole and other AI group of Hormone therapies are administered to the Postmenopausal women mainly and they carry a different spectrum of toxicities such as Joint Pains, Osteopenia, Osteoarthritis and Heart Problems.


So, the question now, should Breast Cancer Patients Receive Hormonal Therapies Or no? Given the fact that they have many side effects that may affect the quality of life and health of these patients?

The simple answer for that question is YES , patients should start taking these Hormonal Therapies as they positively influence their survival and disease control in addition  to the other therapies suggested by their oncologists (such as surgery/radiation/chemotherapy or biologics), however they should also feel better and try to reduce/ avoid these side effects .


Role of Naturopathic Medicine

Here comes the role of Naturopathic Medicine with the introduction of Natural Interventions that ameliorate or reduce the side effects profile and the toxicities of these hormonal interventions but at the same time, maintaining the efficacy and full administration of these Hormonal Therapies. These Naturopathic Interventions should be carried out under the supervision of a well-trained Naturopathic Doctor in the Integrative Oncology or Integrative Cancer Field. These interventions are based mainly on starting an Anti-Inflammatory changes for those patients receiving these Hormone Therapies given the fact that the reasons behind the  side effects of these Hormone Therapies are caused by Inflammation at target organs (such as Joints and bones).The Intervention should be planned in a way to avoid at any cost any negative interaction with the Hormone Therapies and allowing them to work in the best capacity for patient’s care.


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