Breast cancer is the most common type of tumors among the female population of Europe, America and some Asian countries. Annually, more than one million cases of this disease are registered in the world, and with an average life expectancy of 80 years the risk of developing breast cancer is 12.5%. Over the past 20 years, there has been a steady increase in the incidence of this type of cancer in the whole world, as well as in Russia, especially in cities and megacities. Since 1985, takes the first place among women’s oncological diseases, accounting for 31.2% of the total. It is well known that an annual preventive examination contributes to the early detection of tumors. However, often patients refer to a doctor already suffering from obvious signs of a tumor, and this complicates the subsequent treatment. One of the reasons of that is the lack of understanding of the importance of early diagnosis of the disease. Now scientists have deeply penetrated into the mechanisms of the origin of the cancer cell, although much remains unclear. Like other cancers, breast cancer is insidious and aggressive. Therefore, it is very important for any person to have an idea of the development of this disease: forewarned is armed.
Breast cancer is also found in men. Such cases are diagnosed 100 times less often than in women, but even in this case the disease is often deadly by nature and requires treatment. Among the causes of mammary tumors in men is a rare mutation in the gene predisposition BRCA2, obesity, hormonal disorders. In contrast to benign growth of breast tissue, malignant degeneration necessarily requires prompt treatment.
The basis for the treatment of breast cancer is a combined complex approach combined with surgical treatment. The tumor is affected by medicines, radiation, hormones, including target therapy, which implies the reception of a pharmaceutical product which blocks the work of certain genes only in tumor cells, and leads to a slowdown in the growth of the neoplasm.
The Tamoxifen Citrate (Generic Nolvadex) was synthesized in 1962. Initially it was used only for certain forms of female infertility treatment. Clinical investigations showed that this agent was not an ideal actual substance in case of female infertility.
Tamoxifen is the key substance of Nolvadex, which is a non-steroid substance with anti-estrogenic characteristics.
The medicine is used for adjuvant therapy of mammary neoplasms in women (in menopause) with the affected lymph nodes, as well as metastatic breast cancer in men and women. In addition, this medicine is used to treat ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, clear-cell carcinoma, nevocarcinoma, adult soft tissue sarcoma in the presence of estrogen receptors in the neoplasm, as well as for the treatment of chemotherapy insensitive prostate cancer.
It should be said that Nolvadex is neither an androgenic, nor and anabolic, and therefore it can be used in bodybuilding to build muscle. In this sport it is used simultaneously with anabolic steroids, which can cause the following side effects:
- excessive accumulation of water in the body,
- increase in fat mass,
- increase of mammary glands in men.
This is why Nolvadex is prescribed to prevent the development of these effects. It must be said that this medication is used by athletes while on a diet, as it promotes fat burning. The effect of the remedy is aimed at increasing the density of muscles of bodybuilders.
When using Tamoxifen for any purpose, the existing contraindications must taken into account.
Absolute contraindications for women are:
- an allergic reaction to any components of the medicine;
- pregnancy and breastfeeding;
- young age.
Other contraindications include:
- disorders of rheological properties of blood;
- thrombophlebitis and varicose veins of the extremities or pelvic organs due to the risk of exacerbations;
- severe liver diseases, bile and hepatitis;
- disorders to the organs of vision;
- disorders of the lipid profile of the blood;
- increased calcium concentration;
- impaired absorption and metabolism of lactose.
This drug is prohibited for use in men with excessive sensitivity to the components. Special caution in taking of the discussed medicine should be observed by men suffering from diabetes mellitus. If there is any kidney disease, Tamoxifen is also contraindicated. In thromboembolic disorders, the use of this medication is not recommended.
- The dosage of this medicine is almost the same for both men and women with cancer.
- However, before taking the drug, you should carefully read the instructions that contain the necessary recommendations.
- Usually the medication is taken as one tablet twice a day. After a week, this dose is doubled (i.e. two tablets twice a day). The length of the course of treatment depends on the development of the disease and the results of therapy.
- The minimum duration of the course is from one to three months.
As far as taking of Nolvadex by sportsmen is concerned, here are a few other recommendations. Athletes use this medication primarily during post-course therapy after using anabolic steroids to restore their own testosterone level. The dose of Nolvadex at the second to third week of steroid medication is 0.01-0.02 g per day. After the end of steroid therapy the drug continues to take within 2-3 weeks.
How to take?
Tamoxifen-containing remedy is used in the treatment of very complex and severe forms of hormonal disorders and oncological diseases.
The drug is prescribed exclusively to adults.
The remedy should be washed down only with water in large quantities. It is recommended to divide the daily dose into two doses – in the morning and in the evening, regardless of the meal.
When using this medication, the following adverse drug reactions can be manifested:
- paroxysmal sensations of heat (heat waves);
- vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding;
- pruritus in the genital area;
- hair loss (complete loss is rare);
- pain in the neoplasma area;
- pain in the bones;
- body weight gain.
- water retention;
- decreased appetite;
- sicchasia and vomiting;
- increased fatigue;
- loss of consciousness;
- increased body temperature;
- skin rash;
- visual impairment (including keratoderma changes, cataracts, retinal degeneration);
- retrobulbar neuritis;
- temporary decrease in the level of leukocytes and platelets;
- temporary increase in the level of hepatic enzymes (ALT and AST);
- fatty liver infiltration, cholestasis (bile stasis), hepatitis.
In addition, such side effects as:
- risk of blood clots and thromboembolism;
- endometrial overgrowth and increased risk of developing uterine cancer;
- pain in the bones at the initiation of treatment course, disappears later;
- termination of the menstrual cycle or irregular periods in premenopausal women;
- onset of cystic ovarian tumors.
When using the drug, athletes may experience such adverse reactions as:
- increased body temperature;
- partial hair loss;
- nausea, dry mouth, a significant reduction in erection;
- very fast fatigue;
- temporary constipation.
Since there are no studies cases of an overdose of Nolvadex, it can be assumed that overdose may give rise to the above described adverse reactions. Treatment in this case should be symptomatic, since there are no specific antidotes.
Do not combine with drugs that contain hormones, especially estrogens. With a simultaneous treatment with drugs that affect the blood coagulation system, a dose adjustment of Nolvadex is necessary. When combined with cytostatics, the risk of thrombosis increases. Combinations with progestins are ok.
Drug and Alcohol
Of course, many people know the harmful effects of alcohol on the body. Therefore, most of the medications are recommended to be taken without alcohol.
However, in some cases compatibility of alcohol and Tamoxifen-containing remedy is possible. But this permission should be given by the doctor himself. The reason for this are the peculiarities of the human body and its predisposition to certain diseases. Combined use of alcohol and Tamoxifen-containing remedy is possible only if allowed by the treating doctor.
Any drug, as well as alcohol, irritatively affects the mucous membranes of the digestive organs. Therefore, taking Tamoxifen-containing remedy with alcohol will be even harder for the digestive system. Especially such a combination is terrible for people suffering from diseases of the digestive system. Based on the data of the proved statements it is recommended to limit the use of alcohol in the course of treatment with Nolvadex. Thus the medicine will affect the sick organs more effectively, and the new organism will not get new diseases.
Below are the reviews of athletes and patients taking Tamoxifen-containing remedy.
Nora, 28 years old: In 2015, diagnosed with breast cancer of the 2nd degree. After the operation to remove the breast, and after the course of radiotherapy, the doctor prescribed Nolvadex (Tamoxifen). I have been taking it for 2.5 years, the disease is not progressing.
Alexey, 30 years old (bodybuilder): Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) copes with its task of suppressing estrogen there are no censures here. But I had time to feel its side effects. Periodically, there are headaches and blurred vision.
Teresa, 38 years old: I have been taking Tamoxifen-containing remedy since 2014, since I was diagnosed with a malignant neoplasm. After the operation, according to the results of histological examination, the tumor turned out to be hormone-dependent. In this regard, I was prescribed a daily intake of this medication.
I visit the gynecologist every three months. I did not experience any side effects, except for tides. Sudden flashes of heat – the state is quite tolerable and inconveniences in everyday life does are not expressed.
Olga, 49 years old: As for me, this is a high-quality and highly effective drug. Yes, it has many adverse reactions and contraindications, but it helps me. Of course, everything depends on the degree of the tumor, but nevertheless, if the doctor recommends taking this medicine, then there is a reason to take it.