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An antiestrogen is a substance that blocks the production or utilization of estrogens,[1] or inhibits their effects.[2] Estrogens are the family of hormones that promote the development and maintenance of female sex characteristics.

Antiestrogens like tamoxifen can promote an invasive phenotype in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cells with deficient intercellular adhesion.

Although aromatase inhibitors could be considered antiestrogens by some definitions, they are often considered to be a distinct class.[3] Aromatase inhibitors reduce the production of estrogen, while the term "antiestrogen" is usually reserved for agents reducing the response to estrogen.[4]

Hot flashes, osteoporosis, breast atrophy, and vaginal dryness can be side effects of antiestrogens.

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 This article incorporates public domain material from the U.S. National Cancer Institute document "Dictionary of Cancer Terms".