Endocrine Therapy

Endocrine therapy is used to treat certain types of breast cancer and is sometimes called hormone therapy or anti-hormone therapy. There are many endocrine therapy medications for example: tamoxifen, letrozole, anastrozole, exemestane, and raloxifene.

About 80% (4 out of 5) breast cancers use the hormone oestrogen to grow.  Endocrine therapy works by either blocking oestrogen from getting to breast cancer cells, or by lowering the amount of oestrogen in the body.

Around 80% of individuals who are diagnosed with breast cancer will be advised to take endocrine therapy. This means that over 45,000 people will be started on endocrine therapy in the UK every year.

Endocrine therapy is a really effective medication. It can reduce the risk of cancer occurrence, or recurrence, by up to 50%. It is therefore important that we support patients to complete their course of endocrine therapy.

ETIP – Endocrine Therapy Improvement Programme

ETIP is a programme of work, developed by doctors, nurses and other health professions in Greater Manchester, to improve the support for breast cancer patients who are taking endocrine therapy. This includes patients taking endocrine medication for risk-reduction, or to treat primary or secondary breast cancer.

ETIP includes:

  • Resources to improve equity of access to risk-reducing endocrine therapy for women at a high risk of developing future breast cancer
  • Education for healthcare workers about endocrine therapy and how best to support patients to manage side effects
  • Patient information about endocrine therapy and managing side effects
  • Information about Hormone replacement Therapy (HRT) for women with a personal history of breast cancer
  • Sharing patient experiences of endocrine therapy and amplifying the voices of patients

Further resources will be added to this webpage as they become available. We hope you find the resources useful.

If you have any ideas about further information or links that we should consider adding to this webpage, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Hormone Replacement Therapy after Breast Cancer

This section contains a patient leaflet regarding Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) after breast cancer. It is available in English and a number of other languages.

Hormone Replacement Therapy after Breast Cancer – Alternative Languages.

Risk Reducing Endocrine Therapy Toolkit

Please find below the downloads that make up our toolkit, including an algorithm, assessment document, prescription request documents and patient information leaflets.

Prescription Request Documents

Patient Information Leaflets

Foldable A5 booklets. Please check that your printer is set to print double sided, and if necessary select “flip on short edge” option. Once printed, the pages should simply fold in half to produce an A5 sized booklet.

Leaflet in A4 format – this version will print out as 12x A4 pages.

Amelia’s Story

Amelia is taking Tamoxifen to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer, in this video she shares her experience and what she would say to other women considering taking risk-reducing endocrine therapy.