How Does Aromasin Work?Aromasin 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, aromatase enzymes make most of the estrogen in the body. By blocking these enzymes, Aromasin 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, Aromasin can help decrease the growth of these breast cancers.
Aromasin Uses in Children, Adolescents, and MenAromasin is not approved to treat breast cancer in children, adolescents, or men (see Male Breast Cancer). Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Aromasin in children or adolescents.
Off-Label Aromasin UsesOn occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Aromasin for something other than the conditions listed above. At this time, off-label Aromasin uses include:
- Treating breast cancer in premenopausal women
- Treating excess estrogen in men.
In the future, Aromasin may be used off-label for inducing ovulation in women as part of infertility treatment, as other aromatase inhibitors have been effective for this use.