Navigation Links
Medications That Lower Breast Cancer Risk Carry Other Dangers
Date:9/14/2009

Analysis notes tamoxifen, raloxifene can up chances of other cancers, clots

MONDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Medications given to women at high risk for developing breast cancer do reduce their cancer risk, but the drugs carry other health risks, a new analysis suggests.

That was the conclusion of researchers who looked at numerous published studies, including randomized clinical trials and a head-to-head assessment of the medications used for risk reduction. Those include tamoxifen, raloxifene and tibolone. The third drug is not currently on the U.S. market but is available in other countries, and there is some research on its risk-reduction benefits.

"We found that the three drugs actually did reduce the risk for invasive breast cancer by 30 to 68 percent," said review author Dr. Heidi D. Nelson, a research professor at Oregon Health & Science University. The report is published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

While the medications provided similar reductions in breast cancer risk, each carries its own level of side effects. "They did differ on the harm side," Nelson said. "That's important to know."

The use of the drugs to reduce breast cancer risk in healthy, high-risk women is not as common, Nelson noted, as their use to prevent recurrence in women already diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer. For instance, tamoxifen has been used for years to lower the chances of recurrence among breast cancer survivors. Recently, however, other researchers found tamoxifen only lowers the risk of a more common type of breast cancer, called ER-positive, while it raises the risk of developing ER-negative breast cancer, a more aggressive disease, in breast cancer survivors.

A similar story appears to be unfolding when the drugs are used for risk reduction in women who are cancer-free but at high risk of breast cancer. The women may be termed high risk due to genetic mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, a strong family history, both, or other factors. Some choose to take the drugs to reduce risk. "It's important to call this [strategy] risk reduction, not prevention," Nelson said.

When Nelson's team evaluated the results from the studies, they found that tamoxifen and raloxifene boosted blood clots by 60 percent to 90 percent. Raloxifene caused fewer blood clots than tamoxifen.

Tamoxifen was also more likely than a placebo to lead to endometrial cancer and more likely to cause cataracts than was raloxifene.

In women over age 70, tibolone was associated with strokes.

Much of the information about this particular risk-and-benefit picture is already known, said Dr. Scott Maul, a medical oncologist at Oncology Alliance in Milwaukee. "They wanted to bring together all these studies under one publication, and try to quantify the benefit of these three different medications and their risk."

The decision to use the medications to reduce risk is not a simple one, Maul said. He urged women to talk it over with their doctors first. Nelson encourages women to get genetic testing and to use that genetic information -- including any findings about genetic mutations that boost breast cancer risk -- to get a more accurate picture of risk than other models may provide.

"The discussion on whether to use these drugs is a very detailed one with women," Maul said. While the decision is extremely individual, he did offer this advice: "Women should only take these [to reduce first-time breast cancer risk] if they are truly at higher risk for breast cancer." Even then, they may decide not to take them, he said, for good reasons. "If someone has risk factors for heart attack or stroke, these medications may not be a good idea."

More information

To learn more about a tool health professionals use to assess breast cancer risk, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Heidi D. Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., research professor, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland; Scott Maul, M.D., medical oncologist, Oncology Alliance, Milwaukee, Wisc.; Sept. 15, 2009, Annals of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. CVS Caremark Data Finds More than 50 Percent of Adults 45-years and Younger are not Adherent to Cholesterol Lowering Medications
2. AUDIO from Medialink and Forest Laboratories: Dangers of Switching Medications
3. New Source of Information on Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Medications
4. Update on Astellas Request for Rigorous Testing and Safety-Related Labeling for Anti-Rejection Medications
5. Large Majority of Drivers 55 and Older Unaware of Potentially Dangerous Combination of Medications and Driving, Says New AAA Foundation Study
6. Astellas Seeks Rigorous Testing and Safety-Related Labeling for Anti-Rejection Medications
7. Chronic and Complex Diseases on the Rise in Philadelphia: Adults Using More Medications to Treat Chronic Conditions
8. Center for Medicines & Healthy Aging(C) and BidRx(R) Partner to Help Consumers Save on Prescription Medications
9. New Source of Information on Psoriasis Medications
10. Easter Seals Applauds Agreement to Cut Costs of Prescription Medications
11. New Source of Information on Pulmonary Hypertension Medications
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has ... 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their ... Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart ... electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits ... structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Diagnostics The World Market for Companion Diagnostics ... diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: