What Is Anastrozole Used For?
What is anastrozole used for? The primary use involves the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It inhibits the action of aromatase enzymes, which causes the body to produce less estrogen. Because many breast cancers are sensitive to estrogen, less estrogen in the body can help keep the cancer from spreading. Anastrozole is used for off-label reasons as well, such as treating excess estrogen production in men.
Anastrozole (Arimidex®) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Specific anastrozole uses include treating postmenopausal women with:
- Early breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive. It is used after breast cancer surgery with or without radiation. This is known as adjuvant therapy, or treatment that is used to help prevent the cancer from returning (see Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer).
- Advanced or metastatic breast cancer that is either hormone receptor-positive or the hormone receptor status is not known.
- Advanced breast cancer that has not responded to tamoxifen (Nolvadex®, Soltamox®).
Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer, except for skin cancer. Each year, more than 211,000 American women learn that they have breast cancer. Most breast cancer causes are not known. In 5 to 10 percent of these cases, there is a hereditary component. Common breast cancer symptoms include:
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
- A change in how the breast or nipple feels
- Nipple tenderness
- A change in how the breast or nipple looks
- A change in the size or shape of the breast
- A nipple turned inward into the breast
- Nipple discharge (fluid).
In general, breast cancer treatment options can include:
- Surgery (see Breast Cancer Surgery)
- Radiation therapy (see Breast Cancer Radiation)
- Chemotherapy (see Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer)
- Hormone therapy, such as anastrozole (see Breast Cancer Hormone Treatment)
- Biological therapy (see Biological Therapy for Breast Cancer).