Breast Cancer: Reduce the Risk Through Medication
A study by cancer specialists has found that taking the drugs raloxifene and tamoxifen can significantly reduce the risk of breast
"I think we need to reassess why we are not using these drugs more broadly and why we are not prepared to reduce the risk of breast cancer by more than 50 percent in women who are high risk," said Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer
While the drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene may significantly reduce risk, most women are still hesitant because of the potential side effects, which can include increased risk of blood clots, uterine
"The way this came out some 15 years ago is that tamoxifen increased background risk for endometrial [unterine] cancer about three-fold and that scared the hell out of just about anybody," said Hortobagyi.
Hortobagyi insists that the risks remain low for these side effects and other cancer specialists agree, including Dr. Judy Garber of Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Garber says the risks of tamoxifen are small for premenopausal women and that she would recommend raloxifene for older women.