Penn Study on painful side effects after breast cancer treatment

October 29, 2009

Penn Current

A protein on the surface of breast cancer tumors called the estrogen receptor allows the tumors to use estrogen to grow. Aromatase inhibitors, or AIs, are useful in treating post-menopausal women with curable breast cancer by lowering the amount of estrogen in the body.

If taken for five years, AIs have proven very effective in preventing breast cancer from reoccurring. But the side effects associated with the drugs are so severe that some women stop taking them, even at the risk of breast cancer returning.

Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor in Medicine and Epidemiology at the Abramson Cancer Center, says the most prominent side effects associated with AIs are joint pain, stiffness and achiness... Read More

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