Tamoxifen – treatment of breast cancer
Tamoxifen has been used for more than 20 years to treat patients with advanced breast cancer. Tamoxifen is used as additional therapy after primary treatment for early-stage breast cancer.
Tamoxifen greatly reduces the possibility of developing breast cancer in women who have a greater chance of developing breast cancer. While being studied to help in the treatment of other cancers, it is important to note that Tamoxifen can be used to treat men with breast cancer.
What is the effect of Tamoxifen on breast cancer?
Tamoxifen fights against the effects of estrogen, which promotes the growth of breast cancer cells. It is often called an “anti-estrogen”. The drug slows or stops the growth of cancer cells that are existent in the body. As an adjuvant (additional) therapy, Tamoxifen helps prevent the original breast cancer from returning, while also preventing the development of new cancers in the other breast.
What is adjuvant therapy?
Adjuvant therapy is given after the primary treatment to increase the chances of a cure. Adjuvant therapy may include biological therapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy.
Side Effects of Tamoxifen
Side effects can occur when you take any medication. Some people taking Tamoxifen may experience:
- hot flashes
- vaginal discharge
- irregular menstrual periods
- nausea and/or vomiting
- irritation or itching of the skin around the genital area
- skin rash
Side effects for men taking Tamoxifen include headaches, nausea and/or vomiting, skin rash, impotence or a decrease in sexual interest.
Contact your doctor if symptoms are severe.