Endometrial changes in postmenopausal women treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1993 Jun;100(6):567-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1993.tb15310.x.


Objective: To evaluate whether risk factors, other than tamoxifen, can be identified for the development of endometrial pathologies in postmenopausal breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Setting: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Oncology Clinic, Sapir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, Israel.

Subjects: 77 asymptomatic postmenopausal women, treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer. Of these, 55 had no endometrial tissue and 22 had endometrial tissue obtained by biopsy.

Main outcome measures: Demographic characteristics, health habits, risk factors, vaginal ultrasonographic evaluations of endometrial thickness and texture, and histologic evaluations of endometrial biopsies.

Results: Overall, there was a high rate (29%) of endometrial pathological change among the 77 asymptomatic postmenopausal women. There were no significant statistical differences in the features tested between the two groups.

Conclusion: It is impossible to predict which postmenopausal women will develop pathological endometrial changes after treatment with tamoxifen and thus a routine periodic endometrial sampling-follow up is suggested for all postmenopausal women being treated with this agent.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endometrium / drug effects
  • Endometrium / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyps / chemically induced
  • Polyps / pathology
  • Tamoxifen / adverse effects*
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Tamoxifen