- Question from Kathy: I am diabetic, which means I have a higher risk of stroke. I am about to start hormonal therapy. I am concerned when I read about the side effect of blood clots. Please discuss this side effect.
Sandra F. Schnall, M.D.
The risk of blood clot is much more common with tamoxifen than with the aromatase inhibitors, but it's still rare. Having diabetes, or a history of peripheral vascular disease but not blood clots, such as atherosclerosis, wouldn't preclude me from recommending tamoxifen. However, if one has had a blood clot, such as a phlebitis, I would probably start with an aromatase inhibitor as opposed to tamoxifen.
Also, many patients take aspirin to decrease the risk of blood clots, and I have no objection to using that in conjunction with hormone therapy if recommended by their other physicians.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Hormonal Therapy Updates featured Sandra Schnall, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering 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.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2004.
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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