Study Suggests No Increased Risk of Strokes among Breast Cancer Patients on Hormone Therapy

Published Date : Apr 21, 2016

According to a recent study, the usage of aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer patients is not associated with a heightened risk of fatal cardiovascular events as compared to tamoxifen, a commonly prescribed anti-cancer drug that works on hormones and has been linked to serious risks of stroke. The study, published in JAMA Oncology, has revealed that women taking aromatasa inhibitors do not have increased risk of fatal stroke or heart attacks compared to those who only take tamoxifen. 

Aromatase Inhibitors are more effective in Reducing Recurrence of Breast Cancer
Cardiovascular diseases have surfaced as one of the leading causes of death among older breast cancer survivors. Previous studies had stated about the potential risks of cardiovascular diseases with the usage of aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase inhibitors have been considered as more effective in reducing risk of recurrence of cancer compared to tamoxifen in postmenopausal women suffering from hormone receptor positive breast cancer. The recent study, conducted by the Department of Research and Evaluation at Kaiser Permanente, assessed the impact of aromatase inhibitors on cardiovascular risks and has revealed that hormone therapy to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer does not increase risk of fatal cardiovascular events. Estrogen and progesterone are linked to promote the growth of some forms of breast cancers. Aromatase inhibitors block the activity of the enzyme aromatase that is used by the body to produce estrogen in the ovaries. 

In past few years, breast cancer has emerged as an epidemic across the globe. In the U.S., breast cancer is the second most common cancer after skin cancer. It usually affects women and a very small percentage of men. In the U.S., around 2,300 new cases of breast cancer in men are found while about 230,000 new cases in women are reported each year.