New hope for breast cancer sufferers 13



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For those suffering from breast cancer, any sign of relief or medical breakthrough is like music to their ears. And thanks to progressive research, another very promising treatment has been found to slow breast cancer.

New research has found that the hormone progesterone slowed the growth of breast cancers when it was combined with tamoxifen, the standard drug treatment.

Devastatingly, nearly 1.7 million women around the world are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and scientists believe about half could benefit from progesterone therapy if the findings are confirmed in clinical trials.

“The results are pretty clear and potentially have direct benefits for many women with breast cancer,” said Jason Carroll, who co-led the study at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute.

Women who have “double positive” breast cancer (high levels of both oestrogen and progesterone receptors) have the best chance of survival, but it was not known why until recently.

The Cambridge team worked with researchers at the University of Adelaide, to perform a series of experiments on human breast cancer cells and on mice implanted with human breast tumours. They found that adding progesterone to double positive cancers, along with tamoxifen, slowed their growth more than the drug alone.

When progesterone sticks to the progesterone receptor in cancer cells, it changes how the oestrogen receptor works, and effectively stops on tumour growth in two ways.

“Crucially, it provides a strong case for a clinical trial to investigate the potential benefit of adding progesterone to drugs that target the oestrogen receptor, which could improve treatment for the majority of hormone-driven breast cancers”. Carroll said in the article, published in science journal, Nature.

Women whose tumours have become resistant to drugs could benefit from the progesterone treatment if made publicly available.


Tell us, do you know someone who is suffering from breast cancer who could benefit from this treatment?

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  1. Really? We women who are in menopause have been encouraged by doctors to stop taking HRT because oestrogen & progesterone can cause breast Cancer etc. What are the recommendations now for women who suffer with menopause symptoms ?

  2. I was on HRT for a year and I got breast cancer, so I had to stop taking it.

    3 REPLY
    • I was on it for 15 yrs was told it was safe and now dying of ovarian cancer..and havent had ovaries for 28 years..hrt..what does that tell you

    • The Dr didn’t want to put me on it in the first place, but I told her that I was prepared to take the risk, so I only had myself to blame, and to be honest they didn’t say it was because I was taking HRT that I got it anyway.

  3. My breast cancer was her receptive, non hormonal, stage I, grade 3, a more aggressive cancer. Therefore this particular treatment would not be beneficial for me & others that are diagnosed with the same type of breast cancer.

  4. I was told 20 years not to go on HRT as it encourages cancer so just went through menopause cold turkey it wasn’t pleasant but I don’t have cancer.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes Heather I did the same, my hot flushes lasted 8 yrs. I was told the same thing as you, but it wasn’t easy to go through !!

  5. Just had a mastectomy five weeks ago a doctor mentioned I would need hormone tablets not heard anything since will have to ask when I see the surgeon on the 18th August

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