Hormone Treatment and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is an incurable disease where cancer cells in the breast multiply out of control. Breast cancer may start in other parts of the breast other than the breast where the mammary gland is found. There is a breast made up of only three distinct parts: the gland, lobes, and connective tissue. The major part of the breast that the cancer may invade is the lobes, which are responsible for milk production and distribution to the infant and mother.
Breast cancer may start in one or all of these modules. The disease typically invades one or more lobes and spreads rapidly through the breast to other areas of the body such as the bones, brain, heart, lungs and liver. The most common type of breast cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma or simply “cell cancer.” These types of cancers are classified as such because the abnormal cells make their home predominantly in a shallow layer of the skin, hair or tissue known as the mammary gland. In addition, breast cancer is also associated with some types of breast tumors that are not ductal in origin and which do not form any type of structure within the lobes.
If you have had some prior signs or symptoms of breast cancer and are currently undergoing hormone therapy, it is wise to be aware of the risks associated with the treatment. Although estrogen is used for the purpose of regulating the normal functions of a woman’s reproductive organs, it has the potential to lead to the growth of uterine tumors. This is especially so in women with a family history of the disease or in women who are already predisposed to developing the disease. Research has indicated that women who are taking estrogen therapy while they are developing tumors might have a greater risk of developing them after the treatment is completed. This is because some of the estrogen molecules in the hormone therapy may interact with existing genes and DNA within the body, thereby increasing the risk of cancer somewhere else in the body.