Saturday, January 28, 2006

Vaginal Dryness Medications May Affect Breast Cancer Treatment

A very small study published in the journal Annals of Oncology [pre-print article available for free as PDF] suggested that a particular drug for vaginal dryness (Vagifem) may counteract some of the beneficial effects of aromatase inhibitors (AI) used in breast cancer patients. The researchers measured levels of estradiol in six women on AI drugs who took Vagifem for up to 12 weeks. In some of the women, levels of estradiol were elevated after taking the medication. AI drugs act to reduce levels of estradiol, leading to the question of whether the vaginal dryness drug can reduce the efficacy of breast cancer drugs. The authors can not definitively answer this question; the study included only 7 women. Further research would be needed to fully understand the interactions between these two drugs and their effect on successful treatment of breast cancer. A summary is also provided from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Related information:
  • Sexuality After Cancer Treatment: What Women Can Expect (MayoClinic.com)
  • Understanding Breast Cancer Treatment: A Guide for Patients (National Cancer Institute)
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about breast cancer treatments (Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation)

    Technorati Tags: ; ;
    MeSH Tags: Aromatase Inhibitors; Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy
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