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Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Hormonal Therapy

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Questions for people who just have been diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer:

  • For my situation, what are the benefits and risks of aromatase inhibitors?
  • For my situation, what are the benefits and risks of tamoxifen?
  • Do you think an aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen makes more sense for me?
  • Can you compare the side effects of tamoxifen with the side effects of aromatase inhibitors?
  • How many years will I take hormonal therapy?
  • Do I need any tests to determine if I am pre- or postmenopausal? 
  • Do I need a bone density test?

Questions for people who have taken tamoxifen for 2 to 3 years:

  • Do you think I should switch to an aromatase inhibitor? Why?
  • How much longer would I take tamoxifen if I didn't switch to an aromatase inhibitor?
  • How long would I take an aromatase inhibitor if I did switch?
  • Will I have different side effects if I switch to an aromatase inhibitor?

Questions for people who have finished 5 years of tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor:

  • Are there any reasons I should now take a different type of hormonal therapy for an additional 5 years? (Tamoxifen for women who have finished 5 years of an aromatase inhibitor; an aromatase inhibitor for women who have finished 5 years of tamoxifen.)
  • Are there any reasons why I should keep taking my current hormonal therapy medicine for longer than 5 years?
  • How many years would I take an aromatase inhibitor? How many years would I take tamoxifen?
  • What side effects might I have with an aromatase inhibitor? With tamoxifen?

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