Excerpt from an article at Cancer Research UK:
“The tantalising possibility that breast cancer could be prevented by taking a pill is something our scientists have been exploring since the 1980s. In June this became a reality for some, with NICE recommending tamoxifen and raloxifene for preventing breast cancer in women at increased risk of the disease.
But taking drugs to prevent cancer only makes sense if the benefits outweigh the added risks. And although there are undoubted benefits of tamoxifen – stopping some women from getting breast cancer – it can also have some serious side effects like increased risk of blood clots.
That’s why we’re excited by new results announced today from one of our trials, which suggest that another drug used to treat breast cancer called anastrozole could be even better at preventing the disease than tamoxifen for some women, and also leads to fewer serious side effects.
Women who took anastrozole every day for five years halved their risk of developing breast cancer. This by itself is promising. But there is another benefit too. Women who took anastrozole were only slightly more likely to develop side effects like moderate joint pain than women who took a placebo ‘sugar pill’.”
Read the full article here