5 March 2024

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Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer

An Introduction to Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer (HDBC)

HDBC, also known as Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer, is a kind of breast cancer that is triggered by hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. HDBC is thought to account for 70-80% of all breast cancers, making it the most frequent type of breast cancer.

Studying the nature of HDBC is critical for developing more effective therapeutic and prevention interventions. Breast cancer survival rates have steadily improved in recent decades. We can expect these rates to improve further with improved prevention and treatment.

What hormone receptors play a role in Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer?

Hormones have been shown to increase the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Hormone receptors are proteins on the cell surface or within cells that bind to hormones in the bloodstream. Normal breast cells contain receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These can also be found in breast cancer cells.

Breast cancers with estrogen receptors are known as ER-positive (ER+) malignancies. Breast tumours that include progesterone receptors are referred to as PR-positive (PR+) malignancies. Breast cancer with both types of receptors is simply known as hormone-receptive positive (HR+) breast cancer, while this phrase can also refer to any type of HR+ breast cancer (ER+ and PR+). If the tumour lacks any form of the receptor, it is referred to as hormone receptor negative (HR-).

Why is it important to know breast cancer hormone status?

A biopsy of breast cancer cells will be performed to identify whether it is hormone-dependent and, if so, what type (ER+, PR+, or both). Treatment plans are guided by this diagnosis. Hormone treatment is used to treat hormone-dependent breast cancer, which seeks to prevent the effects of estrogen and/or progesterone on cancer cells. Hormone treatment can be given either before or after surgery to decrease the tumour (neoadjuvant therapy) or to prevent recurrence (adjuvant therapy).

Hormone therapy is classified into three types: selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), aromatase inhibitors (AIs), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists). The type and stage of cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health, influence the choice of therapy. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery may be used in methods of treatment.

The prognosis of Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer

The prognosis of hormone-dependent breast cancer is affected by a number of factors, including the disease stage, tumour size, the existence of additional tumours, and the patient’s overall condition.

Fortunately, medical breakthroughs have resulted in earlier diagnoses and better therapies, leading to better prognoses for the majority of people diagnosed with HR-positive breast cancer.

Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer

In general, HR+ breast cancers have an improved prognosis than HR- breast cancers. According to recent research, ER+ breast cancer has a 10% greater 5-year survival rate than ER- breast cancer.

Early detection of Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer

Early identification of breast cancer, not just HDBC, is critical since it improves treatment and survival rates. When breast cancer is found early, it is usually localised and thus easier to treat. Women who get frequent mammograms and self-exams have a better chance of catching breast cancer early.

Early detection may also necessitate less invasive therapies, resulting in fewer side effects and a higher quality of life for the patient. Early identification is thus critical to increasing the odds of successful therapy and avoiding consequences.

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Age and hormone status

According to research, younger women are more likely than older women to develop hormone receptor-negative breast cancer. A study published in the journal Cureus in 2022 discovered a statistically significant relationship between age and ER expression as well as age and PR expression.

Recent research into Hormone Dependent Breast Cancer

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment in which the immune system of the patient is used to assault cancer cells. However, the majority of currently available immunotherapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, have demonstrated little efficacy against hormone receptor-positive breast tumours. Fortunately, multiple clinical trials to investigate the efficacy of immunotherapy in hormone-positive breast cancer are currently underway.

Precision medicine is the practise of adapting treatment to a patient’s unique traits, such as genetic makeup, tumour characteristics, and metabolic profile. New genetic tests, such as MammaPrint, can assist distinguish between patients who will benefit from chemotherapy and those who will benefit more from endocrine therapy alone.

Conclusion

Understanding hormone-dependent breast cancer, in general, is essential for effective therapy and prevention. Women should undergo screenings on a regular basis and report any concerns to a healthcare provider. HDBC can be managed with early detection and effective care. Over the years, the death rate associated with this type of cancer has decreased, and women are now more likely to survive than they were 50 years ago.

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