NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stage IV Breast Cancer - page 20

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Stage IV Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
1
Breast cancer
basics
6
Risk factors for mesothelioma
7
Webpages | Review
18
Oncologists are cancer doctors trained to use
systemic therapy to treat breast cancer. Systemic
therapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer throughout
the body. While metastatic breast cancer is unlikely to
be cured, long-term cancer control is often possible
with systemic therapy.
Some women with metastatic breast
cancer live for years and even decades
with a high quality of life. Part 3
describes the types of treatment used
for metastatic breast cancer.
Hormone therapy
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that cause
some breast cancer cells to make more cancer cells.
Estrogen is mostly made by the ovaries and made in
small amounts by the adrenal glands, liver, and body
fat. Progesterone is also mostly made by the ovaries.
Blocking these hormones from working or lowering
hormone levels can help stop breast cancer from
growing. There are many types of hormone therapy
used to treat early breast cancer.
Antiestrogens
Antiestrogens are drugs that stop the effect of
estrogen on cancer cell growth. Tamoxifen and
toremifene are antiestrogens that treat breast cancer
by attaching to estrogen receptors and blocking
estrogen from attaching. These drugs are also called
SERMs (
s
elective
e
strogen
r
eceptor
m
odulators).
Fulvestrant is an antiestrogen that also blocks and
reduces the number of estrogen receptors. This drug
is also called a SERD (
s
elective
e
strogen
r
eceptor
d
own-regulator).
3
T tment overview
18 Hormone therapy
20 Chemotherapy
22 Targeted therapy
24 Review
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