Approximately two thirds of all breast cancers are a type called hormone receptor positive. This means they use the hormones oestrogen and/or progesterone to grow. The recommended treatment for people with hormone receptor positive early breast cancer usually includes hormone-blocking therapy, a tablet taken daily for between five and 10 years.
For people with metastatic breast cancer, hormone-blocking treatments can provide long-term disease control. The side effects of these treatments may be mild and easily managed, but for some people they can significantly impact their quality of life.
At this Ask the Expert event, we heard from medical oncologist Dr Michelle White and BCNA Consumer Representative Kym Berchtenbreiter. Michelle specialises in treating women diagnosed with breast cancer and is the lead investigator for several local research studies and the development and conduct of clinical trials. Kym was diagnosed with early breast cancer in 2009 and discussed the side effects she experienced from hormone-blocking treatment, her strategies to manage them and her advice for others.
This session addressed what you need to know about hormone-blocking treatment, including common side effects and how you can manage them, and how to ensure a good balance between quality of life, risk of recurrence and control of disease progression.
Challenges, managing side effects and the impact on quality of life
After finishing treatment, you will have a ‘shared care’ plan for tests and check-ups, often shared between your GP and your treating team
BCNA webcast: Complementary therapies for breast cancer
Depression or anxiety are common after diagnosis. Help and treatment are available and you can also take steps to help yourself
Latest treatments and the pioneering research shaping the future
About radiation, managing side effects, follow-up care and costs
'Ask the Expert' series - with Dr Michelle White