Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 101–105 | Cite as

The effect of tamoxifen on the endometrium

  • Beatrice Uziely
  • Abi Lewin
  • George Brufman
  • Dan Dorembus
  • Shlomo Mor-Yosef
Brief communication


Tamoxifen is one of the most important treatments for breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal patients. It acts primarily as an anti-estrogenic agent, due to its cytoplasmic estrogen receptor binding capacity. However, it also exerts a mild estrogenic effect. Since the prolonged use of estrogen has been reported to increase the rate of benign and malignant changes in the endometrium, we evaluated whether there is a correlation between tamoxifen therapy and endometrial benign and malignant conditions. The study group comprised 95 patients with breast cancer who were treated with tamoxifen. No control group was examined. Patients underwent vaginal ultrasonography and endometrial biopsy in order to evaluate any changes in the endometrium occurring during tamoxifen therapy. Pathological changes were observed in 14 patients, 13 of whom were treated with tamoxifen for more than 12 months. Of these women, 3 were diagnosed with endometrial cancer, 3 had mild dysplasia, 3 had endometrial hyperplasia, and 4 had a benign endometrial polyp. Our findings indicate a significant correlation between long-term tamoxifen administration and endometrial proliferation. We therefore recommend that women treated with tamoxifen for more than 12 months have an annual vaginal ultrasonography and endometrial biopsy.

Key words

breast cancer endometrium tamoxifen ultrasound 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatrice Uziely
    • 1
  • Abi Lewin
    • 2
  • George Brufman
    • 1
  • Dan Dorembus
    • 2
  • Shlomo Mor-Yosef
    • 2
  1. 1.Sharett Institute of OncologyHadassah University HospitalJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyHadassah University HospitalJerusalemIsrael

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