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Clea Shearer is starting ‘ovary suppression’ to prevent more cancer. What is it?

The "Home Edit" star will receive monthly injections to reduce the chances of her cancer returning.
/ Source: TODAY

Clea Shearer is ringing in her 41st birthday by entering the next phase of her breast cancer journey.

The “Home Edit” co-founder shared an update on her health on Thursday and revealed that she just began receiving ovary suppression shots that will put her into menopause and lower the chances of her cancer returning.

"Getting my first shot wasn’t a surprise, but I didn’t expect it would be in my former chemo chair! As I sat there, I was flooded with so many feelings and emotions. It’s wild how strong the memories are, and how quickly they come back," the organizing pro wrote alongside a photo of herself in the chair in question.

In addition to her monthly ovary suppression injections, the mother of two will need to take daily medications for the next 10 years, she explained.

"Endocrine therapy comes with a buffet of side effects — but the best side effect is keeping cancer away, so I’ll take it," she wrote.

Shearer, who has been open about her cancer journey since announcing her diagnosis in April 2022, said she's optimistic about the road ahead.

"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about how my body will react… but I’m hopeful this year will be kinder, and this phase will be more gentle than the last," she wrote.

Shearer has given her followers a raw look at the treatment process and revealed that she is cancer-free in November.

What is ovarian suppression?

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), ovary suppression is a treatment that "stops or lowers the amount of estrogen made by the ovaries." The treatment can be used to prevent or treat breast cancer.

There are various type of ovarian suppression, including the following options:

  • Surgery that removes both ovaries, also known as ovarian ablation
  • Radiation therapy
  • Certain drugs

Experts at John Hopkins Medicine described ovarian suppression as an option for "premenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive breast tumors."

"Since a premenopausal woman’s ovaries are the main source of estrogen production, temporarily or permanently shutting off their function has been shown to be effective (when used alone) in reducing the chances of a breast cancer recurrence."

The Susan G. Komen organization added that ovarian suppression isn't an option in postmenopausal women "because the ovaries don’t make much estrogen after menopause."

While surgery is an irreversible option, monthly injections prevent patients from ovulating and menstruating and "will put you in temporary menopause," Johns Hopkins Medicine notes.