It is known that in some cases, tumor cells are receptors are proteins that can bind to the female sex hormones and cause tumor cell growth stimulation. Tamoxifen, falling on the surface of tumor cells, blocking the receptors and prevents tumor cell to proliferate.
- Tamoxifen – one of the most famous, the widely used drugs in the treatment of breast cancer. Tamoxifen is the “gold standard” in the prophylactic treatment of breast cancer in women with positive estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors.
- Estrogen (hormone-dependent breast cancer) in women (especially postmenopausal) and in men.
- Tamoxifen can be used to treat ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, melanoma, soft tissue sarcomas (if the tumor receptor) to treat prostate cancer with resistance to other drugs.
Is it possible to determine the sensitivity to tamoxifen?
- Yes. Through analysis of tumor estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding
- Hypersensitivity to the drug.
- Hot flashes (flushes)
- Vaginal discharge or bleeding
- Itching in the genital area
- Hair loss (total loss is rare)
- Pain in the tumor
- Pain in the bones
- Weight gain
- Less common:
- fluid retention
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased fatigue
- Skin rash
- Visual disturbances (including corneal changes, cataracts, retinopathy)
- Optic neuritis
- Temporary reduction in white blood cells and platelets
- A temporary increase in liver enzymes (ALT and AST)
- Fatty liver, cholestasis (stagnation of bile), hepatitis
We should also highlight the following side effects:
increased risk of blood clots and thromboembolic events (risk increases with simultaneous appointment of tamoxifen with chemotherapy)
hyperplasia (proliferation) of the endometrium and an increased risk of uterine cancer.
Bone pain at the beginning of the treatment (they later reduced and tested)
Termination of the menstrual cycle or menstrual irregularities in women premenopausal
The appearance of cystic ovarian tumors
What is the reaction of “flash”?
At the beginning of tamoxifen may experience “symptoms of acute illness”: pain in the breast tumor, bone pain, fatigue, hot flashes. This reaction, called “flash”, with continued tamoxifen decreases gradually. Many patients regard this reaction as the severity of side effects and stop taking the drug. If you’ve noticed a similar reaction – contact your doctor and discuss the situation.
How to take tamoxifen?
Tamoxifen can be taken regardless of meals, washed down with a little water.
Can I replace the drug tamoxifen with fewer complications?
Yes. The preparation of second generation Toremifene has fewer side effects.
Women in menopause (cessation of the menstrual cycle when) an alternative to tamoxifen are drugs from the group of aromatase inhibitors (ekstraza, Vero anastrozole, Femara, Arimidex).
In women with preserved menstrual cycle as the hormonal therapy can be used ovarian ablation (Zoladex, buserelin, goserelin).
What are the benefits of tamoxifen?
Tamoxifen available drug with proven highly effective against breast cancer.
What are the disadvantages of tamoxifen?
Disadvantages of tamoxifen related to its side effects. It is important to note that the side effects are inevitable with a long reception of any drug.
What to do when taking tamoxifen?
Being on the supervision of a doctor
Regular gynecological check-ups (including the ability of tamoxifen adversely affect the uterus)