Dr. Harness explains the most worrisome side effects of Tamoxifen and shares an alternative.
Tamoxifen has been around for over 20 years. It’s an anti-estrogen pill used in women who are post-menopausal and pre-menopausal. Probably the greatest worry the patients have about Tamoxifen is the fact that they are going to be pushed more and more into menopause and they are very worried about weight gain, and Tamoxifen as a drug has some side effects. It can increase the incidents of cancer of the uterus, although quite small increase, it can also increase the incidents of cataracts, and it can increase, similar to birth control pills, the incidents of blood clots in the legs. Tamoxifen now, in the era, is being primarily used in pre-menopausal women because now we have what are called Aromatase inhibitors, a new classification of drugs that can be that can be used in post-menopausal women that have fewer side effects, fewer dangerous side effects than Tamoxifen, but like any medication has a whole set of side effects of their own.
About Dr. Harness. M.D.:
Dr. Jay Harness is the Director at St. Joseph Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center. Practicing medicine for 35 years, Dr. Harness specializes in general surgery and medical oncology. Graduating medical school from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he conducting his internship and residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Recognized nationally and internationally for his work in breast and endocrine surgery, Dr. Harness is the immediate past-President of The American Society of Breast Surgeons and is President-elect of Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness can assist patients in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
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