Hysterectomy instead of tamoxifen?


Question from Tracey: Would it not be better to have a hysterectomy than have to take tamoxifen?
Answers - Sandra F. Schnall, M.D. Actually some people consider tamoxifen a "medical" oophorectomy, which is removal of the ovaries. That's in relationship to the hormone response.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Even though if you're premenopausal tamoxifen doesn't necessarily put you into early menopause.
Sandra F. Schnall, M.D. In reference to the risk of uterine cancers while on tamoxifen, I have not been routinely recommending hysterectomy to avoid that complication. It occurs in only 1% of women who take it and, hopefully, with good gynecologic screening, we can catch the tumors of the uterus early. The screening mechanisms would include a routine pelvic exam, often in conjunction with a pelvic and vaginal ultrasound.

The ultrasounds are recommended but are not mandatory. However, I do recommend a gynecology exam annually in all women, but most notably those on tamoxifen.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. You can read more about medical treatments to shut down the ovaries as well as what the surgical options are for the premenopausal woman at Breastcancer.org. And you can read more about all of your hormonal options, including tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors for women beyond the menopause, at Breastcancer.org as well.

On Wednesday, April 21, 2004, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Hormonal Therapy Updates. Sandra Schnall, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about hormonal therapies and answered questions about which ones work best in different situations, how they might fit into your treatment sequence, how to deal with side effects, and more.

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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