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Anastrozole Vs Tamoxifen

Anastrozole Vs Tamoxifen

Breast Cancer: Arimidex vs. Tamoxifen

Earlier ATAC results found that Arimidex was more effective than tamoxifen in reducing the risk of recurrence of early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Other studies comparing tamoxifen to the other two aromatase inhibitors (Aromasin and Femara) have shown similar results.


Arimidex (anastrozole) is a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Arimidex is often given to women whose cancer has progressed even after taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox). Arimidex is available in generic form.


Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate) is a nonsteroidal antiestrogen used to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic breast cancer), to treat breast cancer in certain patients after surgery and radiation therapy, and to reduce the chances of breast cancer in high-risk patients.


The dose of Arimidex is one 1 mg tablet taken once a day. For patients with advanced breast cancer, the medication should be continued until tumor progression.

Hormone Therapy and the Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

We know that even after primary treatment for breast cancer there is a risk of recurrence. And late recurrences several years or even decades after treatment are more common with estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Hormone therapies have been shown to reduce the risk of recurrence and improve survival rates.

Bone health

Aromatase inhibitors cause a loss of bone density, which leads to higher rates of osteoporosis and bone fractures compared to tamoxifen [86].

Monitoring bone health

Your health care provider will take a baseline measure of your bone density.

Future measures can be compared to this baseline measure to monitor changes to your bone density.

Bone-strengthening therapy

Some medications may help prevent osteoporosis while you are taking an aromatase inhibitor.

Your health care provider may prescribe drugs called bisphosphonates or the drug denosumab to help maintain bone density.

Health risks of bisphosphonates and denosumab

Although mostly a concern for people with metastatic breast cancer who take higher doses of bisphosphonates or denosumab, these drugs can cause severe bone, joint and muscle pain.

If you have any of these symptoms, report them to your provider right away.

In rare cases, a serious jawbone disorder called osteonecrosis may occur. Before you start treatment with bisphosphonates, it’s a good idea to have a dental exam .

Talk with your oncologist before getting any dental procedure while on bisphosphonates .

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