The role of the general internist in the care of breast cancer survivors is increasing as the number of women living with breast cancer continues to rise. Most breast cancers occurring in women older than 50 years are estrogen receptor- and/or progesterone receptor-positive, and adjuvant endocrine therapy plays an important role in the treatment plan. Aromatase inhibitors are becoming the preferred endocrine therapy, and general internists caring for breast cancer survivors need to be familiar with their use and adverse effect profile. This article reviews the use of aromatase inhibitors, the frequency of common adverse effects, and strategies for their management.
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