Can Tamoxifen Be Used to Reduce the Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer

Can Tamoxifen Be Used to Reduce the Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer?

Welcome to the topic Can Tamoxifen Be Used to Reduce the Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer?

There is a medication that can assist in reducing the likelihood of you developing breast cancer or experiencing a recurrence of the disease.

One of the two chemoprevention drugs that have been approved for use in the treatment of breast cancer in the United States is Tamoxifen. Keep in mind that Tamoxifen does have some potential negative effects, which suggests that it is not necessarily the best choice for all women. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what Tamoxifen is and how it works so that you can determine whether or not this could be an option for you.

How Does Tamoxifen Work?

Tamoxifen is an example of a medication class known as a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) (selective estrogen receptor modulator). SERMs are designed to target particular estrogen receptors, in this case, the estrogen receptors found in breast cells. It is a hormone therapy that has shown the greatest success in treating hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancers, particularly those detected at an earlier stage. Tamoxifen does not have the same beneficial effect on treating the disease as it would with other types of breast cancer.

Hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, are necessary for the progression of HR+ breast cancer. Tamoxifen is effective because it prevents estrogen from traveling to the tumor, which essentially eliminates the possibility of the tumor ever-expanding.

In certain circumstances, your physician may suggest that you take Tamoxifen for the first five years of your treatment, after which you should switch to a different medication for additional treatment and prevention. There is a possibility that the benefits of Tamoxifen could last for up to 15 years.

Who Should Consider Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer?

As was previously mentioned, Tamoxifen is a medication that is frequently utilized in the treatment of patients who have hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. There are other applications for Tamoxifen that can be helpful, such as the following:

  • Lessening one’s likelihood of developing breast cancer again
  • lowering the probability of developing breast cancer in the other breast after having already been diagnosed with the disease in one breast
  • A decrease in the size of the tumors prior to lumpectomy or mastectomy
  • Putting a brake on or completely halting the progression of HR+ breast cancer that has already metastasized to other areas of the body.
Can Tamoxifen Be Used to Reduce the Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer
Can Tamoxifen Be Used to Reduce the Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer

Effectiveness Breast Cancer Risk Reduction? 

The FDA has recognised tamoxifen as an effective treatment for breast cancer for over 40 years. As a medication for breast cancer prevention, it was approved in 1998 and is now taken by millions of women each year.

When beginning treatment with a brand-new medication, it’s only natural to have questions about how well the drug will work. As a treatment for breast cancer, Tamoxifen has been administered to millions of patients; consequently, there are statistics available that attest to the efficacy of this medication. This is what you need to be aware of:

  • Can cut by half the likelihood of developing breast cancer in the breast that is not affected.
  • May reduce the risk of initially being diagnosed with breast cancer by forty percent.
  • Premenopausal women who take this supplement may experience a reduction of 40–50 percent in their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer again.
  • Postmenopausal women who take this supplement may experience a reduction in their risk of breast cancer recurrence of between 40 and 50 percent.
  • A diagnosis of early-stage, non-invasive breast cancer has the potential to cut the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by as much as 50 percent.

It is essential to remember that even though a medication that reduces your risk by 40 to 50 percent seems like a wonderful thing, the success of the treatment depends on how high your risk was, to begin with. If you had a risk of developing breast cancer in the next five years of 5 percent, for instance, a reduction in your risk of 40 percent would mean that your risk would go down to 3 percent; however, this would only be a change of 2 percent in the overall risk. Your breast cancer risk will be assessed by your physician, taking into consideration factors such as your age, medical history, and family history.

What would this mean for me?

What exactly this means for you depends on how high your risk was. To begin with, even though it seems like medicine that cuts your risk by about 40 percent must be a good thing because it sounds like it must be a good thing (your baseline risk).

A risk of 5 percent indicates that during the next five years, it is anticipated that 5 out of every 100 women with your risk will be diagnosed with breast cancer. If you reduce your risk by forty percent, that will bring it down to three percent. In terms of the whole, this represents a change of 2%.

Because the change in your overall risk is dependent on your baseline risk, the benefits you receive will be proportionally less if your risk was lower when you started, and they will be proportionally more if your risk was higher when you started. 

Your age, medical history, and family history can all play a role in determining how likely you are to develop breast cancer, and your doctor can help you estimate that risk. This information can assist you in determining how much of a benefit you might receive from taking one of these medications.

During Pregnancy?

According to some reports, tamoxifen may be linked to an increased risk of birth defects. Because of this finding, women who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant should avoid taking Tamoxifen. If you choose to take Tamoxifen, you must also take another form of birth control to ensure that you do not become pregnant. 

Side Effects

·       Menopausal symptoms

The signs and symptoms of menopause are the ones that crop up most frequently as a result of taking these drugs. These symptoms include sudden flushes of heat and nighttime sweating. Tamoxifen has been linked to a number of side effects, including vaginal dryness and discharge. It is possible for premenopausal women taking Tamoxifen to experience changes in their menstrual cycles. Periods of menstruation can become erratic or even cease altogether.

·       Blood clots

Tamoxifen and raloxifene both increase the likelihood that you will develop blood clots, either in a vein in your leg (known medically as deep vein thrombosis) or in one of your lungs (pulmonary embolism). These clots have the potential to occasionally result in serious complications or even death. Over the course of five years of treatment, the overall risk of these blood clots was found to be less than one percent in the major studies that looked at these drugs for the prevention of breast cancer. 

·       Cancers of the uterus

Tamoxifen can raise your risk of developing uterine cancers such as endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma because it has the same effect on the uterus as estrogen does. Additionally, there is a correlation between endometrial precancers and this condition. 

Have any questions regarding the topic Can Tamoxifen Be Used to Reduce the Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer? Feel free to comment below.

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