How Does Arimidex Work?Arimidex is part of a group of medications called aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase is an enzyme found in various places in the body. These enzymes help produce estrogens (particularly, a certain estrogen called estradiol). In postmenopausal women, most of the estrogen in the body is made by aromatase enzymes. By blocking these enzymes, Arimidex helps to decrease the amount of estrogen in the body.
Many breast cancers are sensitive to the estrogen hormone, meaning that the tumor grows with the help of estrogen. When a tumor is sensitive to estrogen, it has receptors on the outer surface of its cells. Estrogen fits into these receptors like a key opening a lock. When this connection is made, the cancer grows. Breast cancers that have estrogen (and/or progesterone) receptors are known as hormone receptor-positive tumors.
By decreasing estrogen production, Arimidex can help decrease the growth of these breast cancers.