Progesterone and breast cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Progesterone is an ovarian steroid hormone that is essential for normal breast development during puberty and in preparation for lactation and breastfeeding. The actions of progesterone are primarily mediated by its high-affinity receptors, which include the classical progesterone receptor (PR)-A and -B isoforms, located in diverse tissues, including the brain, where progesterone controls reproductive behavior, and the breast and reproductive organs. Progestins are frequently prescribed for contraception or during postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, in which progestins are combined with estrogen as a means to block estrogen-induced endometrial growth. The role of estrogen as a potent breast mitogen is undisputed, and inhibitors of the estrogen receptor and estrogen-producing enzymes (aromatases) are effective first-line cancer therapies. However, PR action in breast cancer is grossly understudied and remains controversial. Herein, we review existing evidence and discuss the challenges to defining a role for progesterone in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalWomen's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Growth factor
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Progesterone
  • Progesterone receptor
  • Protein kinase
  • Steroid hormone


Dive into the research topics of 'Progesterone and breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this