Zoladex Use for Advanced Breast CancerBreast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. Skin cancer is the most common cancer type in women, as it is in men. Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in the breast.
Like other cancers, as the disease progresses, the abnormal cells may spread to other areas of the body. Breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast is called metastatic breast cancer, advanced breast cancer, or Stage IV breast cancer (see Stages of Breast Cancer for more information about the different stages).
The lower strength of Zoladex is approved for use as palliative treatment for advanced breast cancer in women who have not yet gone through menopause. Some types of tumors, called estrogen-positive (or progesterone-positive) tumors, grow in the presence of estrogen (or progesterone). Zoladex reduces estrogen levels, thereby slowing down the growth of the cancer cells and reducing symptoms, such as pain. It will not cure breast cancer. Because postmenopausal women are already producing low levels of estrogen, Zoladex is unlikely to be beneficial once a woman has gone through menopause.
Using Zoladex for EndometriosisEndometriosis is a medical condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus, called the endometrium, grows in other areas of the body. The endometrial-like tissue, sometimes referred to as endometrial growths, implants, or lesions, usually grows in the pelvic area, such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, or bladder. The tissue growth may also be found in other areas of the body.
Much like the normal uterine lining, endometrial growths thicken during the menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy and then break down and bleed when pregnancy does not occur. Endometrial growths have no way to exit the body, however, and are stimulated to grow with each subsequent menstrual cycle.
The symptoms of endometriosis can vary from woman to woman. Some women may have no symptoms at all. However, most women will experience pelvic pain. Other symptoms can include:
- Painful menstrual periods
- Pain during intercourse
- Lower back pain
- Irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding
The lower strength of Zoladex is approved for use in endometriosis. Estrogen stimulates the thickening of the uterine lining. By reducing estrogen levels, Zoladex can reduce endometrial growths and relieve the associated pain. It will not cure endometriosis, however. Once the medicine is stopped, the growths and pain can return.