Tamoxifen's affect on weight, memory?

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Question from Karen: Dr. Weiss, please tell us about Tamoxifen and what is known about weight gain and memory loss?
Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. Tamoxifen is an "anti-estrogen therapy." It blocks the effect of estrogen on the breast. Estrogen stimulates breast cell growth; tamoxifen reduces breast cell growth. Tamoxifen reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence, it reduces the chance of developing a new breast cancer unrelated to the first breast cancer, it keeps bones strong, and it reduces cholesterol. There is tons of information about tamoxifen on the Breastcancer.org site. This is a powerful medicine that's appropriate in many women, but not all women. In a large study, weight gain was no more common in women taking tamoxifen than it was in women taking a sugar pill. Memory loss can be due to so many things, and perhaps tamoxifen may also contribute to memory loss in an individual woman. We know that many women are struggling with the problems of weight gain and memory loss, and there is a lot of information available on this at Breastcancer.org.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Easing Breast Cancer Fears featured Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about managing emotional effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in June 2000.

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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