August 19, 2016 -Alternatives
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:09 — 1.6MB)
Anchor lead: What medication choices exist for women following breast cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Ten years of aromatase inhibitors, a class of estrogen depleting medications used in women with the most common type of breast cancer, works better than taking the medicines for a shorter period of time, a new study concludes. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says there are no head to head comparisons of tamoxifen with aromatase inhibitors, but looking at the research broadly offers some conclusions.
Park: All of that data combined really lead us to believe that aromatase inhibitors probably are more effective slightly than tamoxifen. Some women just can’t handle the side effects and for those women tamoxifen is a great choice. It is still a highly effective drug, the standard of care for women for decades. So if one can’t tolerate aromatase inhibitors there are options. I don’t want anyone to think that just because my doctor has put me on tamoxifen that this is an inferior choice and I shouldn’t be on it. We all have had patients that can’t tolerate the side effects of aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen is still a very good option for them. :33
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.