Drug Therapy to Reduce Excess Estrogen
Estrogen is a growth-stimulating hormone. As stated earlier, fibroids typically shrink after menopause because of the reduction in endogenous (self-produced) estrogen that accompanies menopause. Women with uterine fibroids should have their blood estrogen level checked. If blood testing reveals too much estrogen, consider asking your doctor to prescribe a low dose (1 mg every few days) aromatase-inhibiting drug such as anastrozole (Arimidex®). By having a physician adjust the dose of Arimidex®, women may be able to lower excess estrogen, thereby helping to shrink fibroids and possibly reducing breast cancer risk. When Arimidex® was compared to tamoxifen in a breast cancer prevention trial, Arimidex® was slightly more effective and virtually free of side effects (ATAC Trialists' Group 2002).