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Estrogen and Your Health


Updated October 27, 2006

Estrogen Receptor Alpha and Estradiol

Estrogen Receptor Alpha and Estradiol

Tanenbaum, D.M., Wang, Y., Sigler, P.B.

What Is Estrogen?:

What is estrogen and how does it affect your health? If you're interested in lowering your risk of breast cancer,or if you want to understand how to prevent recurrence after treatment, it's important to understand the role that estrogen, and other hormones, play in your health. Get started by reading about estrogen.

Estrogen Replacement Therapy or HRT:

Low levels of estrogen can be caused by natural, surgical, or chemical menopause, and by estrogen suppression medications. Some side effects of low estrogen may include: hot flashes, headaches, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Some women may be able to take HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to help counteract these effects.

Estrogen and Breast Cancer:

Some kinds of breast cancer are fueled by high amounts of estrogen. That's the reason that estrogen suppression medications are an important part of treatment that prevents recurrence. Here is an overview of the main types of breast cancer: ductal, lobular, inflammatory, and Paget's disease.

Estrogen Receptor Status and Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment:

Estrogen and Progesterone receptor status tests will show whether or not one or both of those hormones fuel your tumor. Cancer that is hormone-sensitive is slightly slower growing and has a better chance of responding to hormone-suppression treatment, than cancer that is hormone receptor negative. Hormone-negative cancer will respond to other kinds of treatment, and hormone-suppression may not be needed.

Estrogen and Your Bone Health:

A healthy level of estrogen in your body builds and maintains strong bones. However, if you've had chemotherapy, or if you're taking estrogen suppression medication after treatment for breast cancer, your estrogen levels will be low. Guard your bone health, by understanding how estrogen affects your bones.
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