Update: Femara vs Tamoxifen
A study presented at the December San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference (the largest annual breast cancer meeting) suggests that five years of Femara is slightly more effective in preventing recurrence in post-menopausal women than a combination of two plus years of tamoxifen, and then a switch to two plus years of Femara. There continue to be studies looking at the relative values of tamoxifen and the three aromatase inhibitors, but this one is worth reading.
If you want to read more click here
Here is a quote from the summary on the Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.breastcancer.org) site: What Does This Study Mean for Me?>
These updated results suggest a possible, but not statistically significant, improvement in overall survival with letrozole compared to tamoxifen alone. The chance of breast cancer recurrence was the lowest in women who took either five years of letrozole or two to three years of letrozole followed by two to three years of tamoxifen.
If you are postmenopausal, a standard treatment is to begin hormonal therapy with an aromatase inhibitor like letrozole, especially if the cancer is at higher risk for recurrence. Starting with tamoxifen may still be best in some situations, though, so you should explore your specific experience with your doctor.
This study is the first to show that switching to tamoxifen after two to three years of letrozole is as effective as taking five years of letrozole. Switching may be an option if letrozole proves too expensive or causes difficult side effects for you. Always talk with your healthcare team throughout therapy about your concerns. If you aren't sure where to start, call LBBC's Survivors' Helpline at (888) 753-LBBC (5222) to think through your questions