BREAST CANCER - Normal breast tissue is influenced by hormones, and the rate of growth of a breast tumour and any metastases may be altered by changing the hormonal environment. The effect is always temporary, but may last 18 months or longer. Management depends largely on the patient’s age, the menstrual state, the progress of the disease, the site of any metastases, and the history of previous hormonal response. Surgical and radio-therapeutic ablation of the endocrine glands for breast cancer are not discussed in this article. A therapeutic trial of hormone therapy cannot be regarded as unsuccessful in any patient with breast cancer until she has been observed for at least 2 months, but bone pain may respond earlier.
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