In post-menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogens (female sex hormones), whose main source becomes the conversion of other hormones into estrogens, through a process called aromatization. This process, which takes place in muscles, liver, fatty tissue and adrenal glands, depends on an enzyme called aromatase.

In breast cancer cases where hormone receptors are expressed, tumor growth can be stimulated by estrogens. So, one way to treat the condition is to block the production of estrogen. In postmenopausal patients, the most effective way to reduce estrogen production is inhibition of the aromatase enzyme.

Thus, aromatase inhibitors are drugs used in hormone therapy for breast cancer that express hormone receptors in postmenopausal women.

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This content is part of the Oncoclínicas glossary with all terms related to Oncology and its treatments.
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