Supporting women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer

Hormone Therapies

Those of us with hormone sensitive breast cancer are able to take tablets - usually for 5 years.

The main division is between those of us who are pre and post menopausal.

Pre-menopause your ovaries are making most of the oestrogen in your body. Tamoxifen provides an alternative source of an oestrogen like substance that is preferred by sensitive tumours and which stops them growing. It is generally beneficial to your bones but can cause gynaecological problems.

There are a number of different brands so if one causes problems try a different one as many of the side effects appear to be caused by the fillers used. There is even a liquid form

Post-menopause the only oestrogen your body has is manufactured by the aromatase enzyme. Aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole [Arimidex] or letrozole [Femara] prevent this happening by blocking the enzyme and so starving the tumours.

Aromasin [exemestane] is an aromatase inactivator which destroys the aromatase enzyme rather than blocking it.

It is possible to suppress or remove the ovaries if it becomes necessary to take an aromatase inhibitor while still pre-menopausal.

Everyone will react differently but here are some of our experiences.


Arimidex - s

Aromasin (Exemestane) - jw

Letrozole (Femara) - mrb

Tamoxifen - mg

Tamoxifen 2 - bl

Tamoxifen taken after taking it in combination with zoladex - k1

Zoladex - k1