Tamoxifen Produces Positive Results in Premenopausal Breast Cancer Patients
For the estimated 246,000 American women likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, treatment may take on a variety of forms. Surgery, be it a lumpectomy or mastectomy, is almost always a given. Chemotherapy and radiation, too, may also be advised. Some women may also find their healthcare providers strongly urging the use of a medication known as tamoxifen.
This hormone therapy is generally used after surgery when breast cancer has been diagnosed. For some women, its use may prove extremely beneficial in prolonging life, recent research has found.
A long-term study into the effects of adjuvant tamoxifen on preventing mortality in breast cancer patients showed extremely positive results. In women with estrogen receptor positive primary breast cancer, this drug’s use was shown to significantly extended survival chances over the course of several decades.
The study involved more than 560 women who met the cancer criteria. Roughly half were treated with tamoxifen for two years following other treatments. The other half did not receive the drug. At a median follow-up of 26 years, the women in the adjuvant tamoxifen group had a decreased cancer-mortality rate over their counterparts, the study found. It is important to note though that during the first few years, all ER-positive patients had a high fatality rate. That rate declined by nearly 50 percent as time of follow up progressed for the tamoxifen patients.
Introducing tamoxifen into the adjuvant care routine for some breast cancer patients may result in improved outcomes. This drug, however, does come with its own share of potential side effects. Women who have been diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer should carefully consider all their treatment options based on the particulars of their case and their doctor recommendations. Tamoxifen may help improve survival chances in some cases, but it is not a guarantee.