Hormone therapies may increase cardiovascular risks, but making lifestyle changes and being aware of risk factors can help protect you.
Today, the vast majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer survive the disease—91% are still alive five years after their diagnosis. One reason for this is the use of hormone therapies. These drugs can treat — or prevent a recurrence of — estrogen-fueled tumors, which make up a majority (83%) of invasive breast cancers.
Hormonal medications are typically prescribed for five years following treatment to block the effects of estrogen on breast tissue. By hindering the action of this female hormone, these drugs can halt tumor growth. But while hormone therapies bring benefits, they also pose some risks to the heart and blood vessels.
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About the Author
Kelly Bilodeau, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
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