Estrogen And Breast Cancer

By

Update Date May 11, 2020
Share now

Breast Cancer At A Glance

The incidence of breast cancer amongst Malaysians in 2018 was 7593 cases, representing 17.3 percent of all cancer cases that year. In Malaysia, it is the leading cancer in women, followed by colorectal cancer. In a larger scale, it impacts up to 2.1 million women worldwide each year. The hormone estrogen is one of the risk factor which plays a role in the development of breast cancer. In this article, the role of estrogen and breast cancer will be discussed.

What Is Estrogen?

Estrogen is a female sex hormone produced in the ovary. It plays an important role in the development of female’s secondary sexual characteristics aside from regulating the integrity of their reproductive organs. Although it is produced in the ovary, the signal to produce it comes from the pituitary gland in the brain.

How Estrogen Give Rise To Breast Cancer

Majority of breast cancer is influenced by the hormone estrogen and they are said to be ER-positive. Sometime, a big portion of ER-positive breast cancer will also be PR-positive. The term ‘ER-positive’ means positive for estrogen receptor and the term ‘PR-positive’ means positive for Progesterone receptor. Context-wise, it denotes the reaction of the breast cancer to the presence of the hormones. Estrogen binds to ER-α receptor and stimulates the breast cells to divide. The constant division process has a probability of having a few cells to mutate upon division. These mutated cells in turn, will actively divide uncontrollably and after some time, the accumulated cells from theses uncontrolled division forms a cancer. It can keep on growing until it invades the nearby structures such as the ribs, the underlying muscles and the lymph nodes. Usually, there are genes that regulates the division of cells, stopping any further division and killing off mutated cells. However, when there’s genetic mutation that leads to the failure of these genes from regulating cell division, these cancer cells can keep on dividing.

What’s The Treatment For ER-positive Breast Cancer?

Fortunately, ER-positive breast cancer has the best prognosis (chances of good outcome) compared to other form of breast cancer. One of the main treatment used for ER-positive breast cancer is the use of Tamoxifen, a type of Hormonal Therapy which competes with estrogen to bind at the estrogen receptor.

Please remember to undergo mammogram screening and to regularly do self-breast assessment for early detection of lumps in the breast. To know more about other risk factors, symptoms and treament options, consult your doctor. 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Read also:

    Was this article helpful for you ?
    happy unhappy"

    You might also like

    Ductal carcinoma in situ

    Learn about Ductal carcinoma in situ. What are the symptoms, the causes and how to treat this condition? What can we do to cope and prevent its symptoms?

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by Phuong Tran
    Health Conditions A-Z, Health A-Z September 28, 2017

    The Symptoms of Stage 4 Breast Cancer

    Stage 4 breast cancer, which is also known as the end stage breast cancer, is considered as the most advanced stage and has the worse outlook.

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by Tung Hoang

    Breast Cancer Recurrence – What You Should Know

    The treatment of breast cancer can remove the tumor and kill the cancer cells remaining in the body. However, about 10-20% of breast cancer may recur.

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by Vy Nguyen

    Habits That Can Lead to Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women nowadays. Do you know that some of your habits can increase the risk of having breast cancer?

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by Thuy Tran

    Recommended for you

    You Didn’t Think Men Could Get Breast Cancer, Did You?

    You Didn’t Think Men Could Get Breast Cancer, Did You?

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by Aaron Joseph Sta Maria
    Published on October 2, 2019
    Nipple Discharge

    Nipple Discharge

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by Phuong Tran
    Published on January 15, 2019
    Mastodynia

    Mastodynia

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by English Content
    Published on May 11, 2018
    Hemifacial spasm

    Hemifacial spasm

    Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel
    Written by Phuong Tran
    Published on November 14, 2017