Drug Can Drastically Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

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breast cancerPost-menopausal women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer may be able to reduce their risk by taking the breast cancer drug, anastrozole.  The drug has been used as a treatment for women who have developed breast cancer and gone through menopause. It lowers estrogen hormone levels to shrink cancer tumors and slow down their growth.

A study of the IBIS II trial that was funded by Cancer Research UK and led by Queen Mary University of London showed that anastrozole may be effective as a preventive measure against breast cancer in high risk women. Nearly 4,000 women who had been through menopause and had a high risk of developing breast cancer were looked at during the study, with half being given 1 mg of the drug each day, and the other half of the women being given a placebo. The researchers followed up the study in five years to find that 40 women in the anastrozole group had developed breast cancer, in comparison to 85 women in the placebo group.

In addition to being more effective as a breast cancer prevention drug than other drugs, anastrozole also has fewer side effects. The comparison of side effects between the half of women which received the drug and those which received the placebo showed only slight differences. Many types of breast cancer are fuelled by estrogen. The drug anastrozole prevents estrogen from being made in the body, making it an effective drug for preventing the cancer in postmenopausal women.

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