Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Femara Benefits Younger Women With Breast Cancer

Most Women May Not Need Additional Treatment

Femara Slashes Estrogen Levels

The study, presented here at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 47th Annual Meeting, is the latest to point to a role of Femara in the treatment of postmenopausal women with breast cancer.

About three in five women with breast cancer have tumors that are fueled by estrogen, making hormone therapy a cornerstone of regimens to prevent recurrences and improve survival.

For 25 years, doctors have been using tamoxifen, which blocks estrogen from binding to cells and works against estrogen's ability to stimulate tumor growth and spread. So far, the benefits of tamoxifen have been shown to wane after five years of treatment, a major cause of concern, since one-third of cancers that recur come back between five and 10 years later.

That's where Femara and other aromatase inhibitors come in. Aromatase inhibitors lower the levels of circulating estrogens in the body. They inhibit the aromatase enzyme that produces estrogen.

The new study included 471 women who had a history of invasive breast cancer but no signs of breast cancer after five years of tamoxifen treatment. All had been treated with surgery and radiation before receiving tamoxifen alone or chemotherapy and tamoxifen. None was given an aromatase inhibitor.

By an average of eight years later, cancer came back in 26 women, and 10 other women developed tumors in their originally unaffected breasts. With these numbers, the researchers say that patients with higher risk for recurrence, particularly due to young age or lymph node involvement, would have the greater benefit from the addition of Femara.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow