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Breast Cancer Drug Reduces Mortality Rates

Posted on December 05 2012

A newly released study indicates that premenopausal breast cancer patients can hinder recurrence and avoid death by elongating tamofixen use from the currently prescribed 5 year usage to a full 10 years. The new finding is expected to change the methods of care for premenopausal breast cancer patients. Tamofixen is a commonly prescribed to reduce the risk of breast cancer return. For women with estrogen receptor (ER) positive tumors, tamofixen along with other hormone therapies have proved to be effective in reducing not only for breast cancer return, but also for lowering the risk of cancer death. Tamofixen treats women who meet two requirements with the first being that they have not entered menopause, in which case aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are a better treatment option. Secondly, they must have an ER positive tumor. The highly effective drug works best on early-detected tumors and when taken for the currently recommended 5-years, it can cut mortality by nearly one-third. The 10-year course of treatment yields even more positive results. For women who were selected for the 10-year trial period, the reduction is mortality rate was an additional 29% in comparison to percentages from a 5-year course. 12% of women registered in the 10-year treatment died within the 5 to 14-year period post-diagnosis. 15% of women who stopped Tamofixen use after 5-years passed within the same 5 to 14-year post-diagnosis time period. Trimming these figures down, essentially women who took Tamofixen for the 10-year course cut their mortality rate nearly in half. Of course, with any medication there are side-effects to Tamofixen. Some of these side effects include endometrial cancer, blood clots, hot flashes, and general overall dryness. In the 10-year 3.1% of trial participants developed endometrial cancer, compared to 1.6% of participants on the 5-year course. Overall, 0.5% in the 10-year trial group died from endometrial cancer and pulmonary blood clots combined. Researchers say that there was no increase in stroke presentation and with effective treatments for endometrial cancer, the side-effects are miniscule to the benefits of the longer treatment course. Breast cancer patients have been said to have mixed reactions to the news. Many of them will enter menopause through the current 5-year period and be switched to AIs anyway. Others may have to use AIs because of being sent into menopause by chemotherapy treatments. However, for younger breast cancer patients and their loved ones, the elongated treatment course is being warmly accepted, considering many women become anxious when coming to the end of the 5-year treatment. While nothing has been set in stone as to whether a 10-year course will become the new standard, many women are happy to have the possibility, and are looking forward to leading healthier, longer lives. Sources: ABC News Health - http://abcnews.go.com/Health/CancerPreventionAndTreatment/extending-tamoxifen-saves-lives-reduces-breast-cancer-recurrences/story?id=17879346#.UL9jeIbX7IU New York Times Health - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/health/extended-use-of-breast-cancer-drug-suggested.html?_r=0 USA Today Health & Wellness - http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/04/hormone-treatment-breast-cancer/1746805/  

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