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Journal of OncologyVolume 2010 2010, Article ID 654348, 8 pages

Review ArticleThe University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard., Kansas City, KS 66160, USA

Received 22 December 2009; Revised 14 May 2010; Accepted 11 July 2010

Academic Editor: P. Neven

Copyright © 2010 Qamar J. Khan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Musculoskeletal symptoms including arthralgia and myalgia occur frequently in aging women, particularly during the transition to menopause, when plasma estrogens precipitously decline. In postmenopausal women PMW with breast cancer, third-generation aromatase inhibitors AIs as adjuvant hormonal therapy have proven to be more effective, and to have a more predictable side effect profile, than tamoxifen. However, AIs further reduce plasma estrogens in PMW, exacerbating musculoskeletal symptoms. Clinical trial data have shown significantly higher incidences of arthralgia and myalgia with AIs compared with women on tamoxifen or placebo. Symptoms may be severe enough to significantly affect quality of life; musculoskeletal symptoms are a frequent reason for discontinuing therapy. In many cases, symptoms can be effectively managed with oral analgesics or other strategies. Early recognition and effective management of musculoskeletal symptoms can help maximize treatment compliance, enabling patients to derive optimal benefit from therapy in terms of preventing recurrence.

Autor: Qamar J. Khan, Anne P. O-Dea, and Priyanka Sharma



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