Why It Is Used
Tamoxifen is used to prevent and treat breast cancers that test positive for estrogen receptors (ER+). It blocks the effects that the hormone estrogen has on cancer cells and lowers the chance that breast cancer will grow. Tamoxifen:
- Has been used for decades to treat patients with advanced breast cancer.
- Is used after surgery or Reference radiation therapy Opens New Window for early-stage breast cancer.
- Is used to prevent breast cancer in women who are high-risk for ER+ breast cancer.
- Can be used by women of all ages, both before and after Reference menopause Opens New Window.
- Is being studied for the treatment of other types of cancer.
In rare cases, tamoxifen is used to treat breast pain (mastalgia), because it reduces estrogen levels that cause breast swelling. This is an Reference unlabeled use Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: June 28, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology