NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer - Early-Stage
(STAGES I AND II)
, Version 1.2016
Many women with hormone receptor–
positive breast cancer receive
endocrine therapy. Part 6 explains
who needs endocrine therapy and
which types. It also provides some
details on what to expect during
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that cause
some breast cancer cells to grow. Endocrine therapy
stops the growth of cancer cells that is caused by
hormones. It either lowers the amount or stops the
effect of hormones in the body.
Endocrine therapy can be used to lower the chances
of the cancer returning after surgery. It only works
for women with hormone receptor–positive breast
cancer. The chances of the cancer returning differ
among women. Doctors predict the return of cancer
based on features of the cancer and research results.
If you will receive chemotherapy, endocrine therapy
should be started after chemotherapy is finished.
It is okay to take HER2 inhibitors during endocrine
therapy. Endocrine therapy can be started during
or after radiation therapy. If you are pregnant, start
endocrine therapy, if needed, after your baby is born.
68 Treatment options
70 What to expect