Symptoms associated with oophorectomy and tamoxifen treatment for breast cancer in premenopausal Vietnamese women

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1999 Dec;58(3):281-6. doi: 10.1023/a:1006301812268.


There are very few data about the efficacy and toxicity of adjuvant systemic therapies for breast cancer in non-western populations. In 1993 in Vietnam we began a randomized controlled clinical trial on premenopausal women with operable breast cancer comparing adjuvant surgical oophorectomy plus tamoxifen with observation and this same combined hormonal treatment on recurrence. We evaluated the symptoms reported at regular follow-up visits by the first 482 premenopausal women entered in this clinical trial and treated with surgical oophorectomy plus tamoxifen or observation. Hot flash frequency and intensity, vaginal discharge, and genital pruritus were the only symptoms to occur more frequently in oophorectomy and tamoxifen-treated subjects. Seventy-seven percent of oophorectomy/tamoxifen subjects reported grade 1 or more and 44% grade 2 or more hot flash frequency symptoms in the first 12 months, versus 9% and 1% of observation subjects, respectively. Twenty percent of oophorectomy/tamoxifen subjects had grade 2 or greater intensity of hot flashes some time in the first 12 months versus 0% in observation subjects. Through three years, vasomotor symptoms were reported more frequently in oophorectomy/tamoxifen-treated women (in 23% vs. 3% at three years, mostly grade 1 toxicities). While noted and persistent vasomotor symptoms were found with oophorectomy plus tamoxifen in this population of Vietnamese women, these were of lower grades and tolerable. This adjuvant treatment may be widely accepted if it is demonstrated to be effective in this population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hot Flashes
  • Humans
  • Ovariectomy* / adverse effects
  • Premenopause
  • Tamoxifen / adverse effects
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vagina / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Tamoxifen