Dr. Kathy S. Albain on Breast Cancer Risk After 5 Years of Tamoxifen

September 1, 2016
Kathy S. Albain, MD

Kathy S. Albain, MD, hematology/oncology, professor, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, discusses risk 5 years after tamoxifen in early stage ER-positive breast cancer.

Data was recently reported emphasizing that after patients stop 5 years of tamoxifen in early breast cancer, even if they have low-stage disease, there is a long-term recurrence rate out to 20 years, says Albain.

For the lowest stage, T1N0, the risk is 14%. The risk goes up incrementally as the number of nodes and the tumor size increases. There is a six-point scoring system that shows the gradations of increased risk across each stage of disease.

These data are very important as oncologists counsel women coming off 5 years of tamoxifen regarding their continued risk of recurrence.