- Question from JanetC: Given the growing evidence of serious heart risks taking aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen, what other options are available for that small percent of post-menopausal women who have experienced heart-related side effects?
- Answers - Eric Winer, M.D. These drugs are not taken together; they're taken separately. There is no evidence that tamoxifen increases risk of any type of heart disease. In fact, in some studies tamoxifen decreases the risk of heart disease. The data with the aromatase inhibitors are mixed. One study at San Antonio suggested the aromatase inhibitors increased the risk of heart problems to a small extent, and another study suggested they decreased the risk. In general, the benefits of the aromatase inhibitors far outweigh the risk, and I think we can be reassured that there are not substantially higher risks of heart disease in women on aromatase inhibitors than in women on other treatments. As always, an individual woman has to weigh the benefits of treatment versus the risks in her personal situation.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Updates From the 2010 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium featured Eric Winer, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about the latest updates on breast cancer risk, screening, and treatment in early and metastatic breast cancer.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in December 2010.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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