Tamoxifen & Radiation at The Same Time?

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Last Modified: December 13, 2011

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Question

I will be getting radiation and also tamoxifen treatment following a lumpectomy T2N0. Is there a downside to concurrent treatment?

Answer

Kevin Fox, MD, Medical Oncologist at Penn , responds:

There have been several studies that have looked at concurrent versus sequential radiation and tamoxifen in early stage breast cancer. There appears to be no difference in treatment effectiveness, so there is not downside to your doing them concurrently. Having said that, many of our patients choose to do the treatments sequentially to avoid combining side effects. You can feel comfortable doing it either way.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat. Series, View the Life After Breast Cancer transcript.


News
Study finds no association in early-stage breast cancer patients on adjuvant tamoxifen

Apr 19, 2010 - Despite a strong biologic rationale, there may be no association between concomitant usage of cytochrome P450 2D6 inhibitors such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and breast cancer recurrence in patients with early-stage disease who are treated with adjuvant tamoxifen, though there is an association between poor tamoxifen adherence and increased risk of breast cancer events, according to a study published online April 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.



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