How’s an aromatase inhibitor used for breast cancer?

Hormonal therapy. Aromatase inhibitors are a form of hormonal therapy for post menopausal patients. They are effective only in er+ cases. They block the conversion of other hormones to estrogen via the enzyme aromatase. In premenopausal patients they actually stimulate the ovaries to increase estrogen production. Hormonal therapy is systemic treatment, reduces local recurrence, and reduces risk of 2nd primaries.
It is an anti- Estrogen used in women after menopause, with tumors that have an estrogen receptor. It is not useful if eh ovaries are generating scads of estrogen. And tumors without er do not respond to estrogen maneuvers. It also may be useful as a preventive in older women with in situ cancers, but tamoxifen is standard.

Related Questions

If given a bilat oopherectomy and aromatose inhibitors for breast cancer would the doctor know that these can cause osteoporosis & what should she do?

Refer to answer. Most drs know about this, however sometimes there are not too many choices. Best to minimize the side effects take 800mcg folic acid+ vit d3 1000 iu once a day. Take also whole milk cheese low salt 4 day/ week for brakfast + add no salt butter to cooking with low heath( has vit k2). Read more...
I would hope so... You are at risk for bone loss and need to have biannual bone density scans to monitor it. Depending on this, you may need vitamin d and calcium supplements and maybe even bisphosphonates like Boniva (ibandronate) or fosamax. I'm sure your oncologist would know. Read more...
YOU know! It sounds like you are aware of the risk, so tell your doctor! it is great that you are thinking about this. Yes, you are at risk for losing bone, so you need to know 1. Where you are starting (what your bone density is now) 2. Your vitamin d level, and 3. How much your bone density changes in 1-2 years. Keep up weight-bearing exercise like walking, and keep up the conversation with your doc! Read more...

What is the difference between anti-estrogens and anti-aromatases for breast cancer?

"cousin-drugs" Tamoxifen ("anti-estrogen") and aromatase inhibitors (ai) are both used for treating breast cancers that are estrogen-receptor +. Ai's are only suitable after menopause but may be slightly more effective; furthermore, they are not associated with any increased risk of uterine cancer like tamoxifen. Read more...
Pharmacology. Anti-estrogens block the receptors to which estrogen attaches on the cell. Anti-aromatases prevent estrogen from being made in the body. Read more...

If a natural weightlifter took anti cancer medication (aromatase inhibitor), shouldn't his testosterone level increase dramatically?

Increase somewhat. Aromatase inhibitors inhibit the effect of estrogen on the pituitary gland as well as elsewhere. As a result they can increase pituitary hormones that stimulate testosterone production modestly, not usually dramatically. By the way, these medications are banned by most major sports. Read more...

Can automated whole breast ultrasound be used for breast cancer screening?

Not standard care. The standard of care for breast cancer screening is a yearly breast exam, and mammograms beginning at age 40. Ultrasound can be useful to determine if a lump is cystic or solid, and can be used as an adjunct to mammogram, but it is not used for primary breast cancer screening. Read more...
US vs Mammogram. Us is a good diagnostic tool, but is not as inexpensive and easy to perform on a mass screening basis that can be done with mammograms. Research is being done on using this modality on a larger basis, but you need more trained ultrasonagraphers or a better automated system than is currently available before can be cost-effective to use in mass screening. Read more...
No! The ultrasound will not show subtle architectural abnormalities in the breast. It also will not demonstrate microcalcifications which can be associated with tumors. Mammography still standard of care. Mri with contrast might be a possibility but is very expensive and needs more evaluation. Read more...
Yes, it is potentially useful as an adjunct to mammography, especially in the setting of dense breasts, where the sensitivity of ultrasound for detecting cancer is superior to mammography. It is not currently the general standard of care, but particularly in states with dense breast notification legislation, it's use is on the rise. It has promise, it is currently in use, but the jury is still out. Read more...

How did doctors used to view breast cancer?

See below. In ancient times cancer was an unknown. There are very old medical reports of large ulcers that would grow to take over the breast, and attempts at major surgical breast or chest wall removal was done, or even tried cauterizing the area with heat. A very unfortunate situation in old times. Read more...