People who have malignant breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body sometimes take Tamoxifen. This oral medication is used to stop the spread of breast cancer in both women and men. It is also used to reduce breast cancer risk in women who have significant risk factors and to treat early breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ. It works by blocking the effects of estrogen so that breast cancer cells don’t continue to grow.
This medication can cause blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. Patients who have a history of heart disease or blood clots are at greater risk when on this medication than other patients. Patients should not smoke while on this medication and should make sure high blood pressure and diabetes are under control before taking the medication.
This medication also increases the chance that women will develop cancer in the uterus.