Navigation Links
Medications Effective in Reducing Risk of Breast Cancer But Increase Risk of Adverse Effects, New Report Says
Date:9/15/2009

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three drugs, including tamoxifen, reduce a woman's chance of getting breast cancer, but each drug carries distinct potential harms of its own, according to a new report from HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Drugs to reduce the risk of breast cancer can be prescribed to women with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, but prescribing practices vary widely. The comparative effectiveness review found that all three drugs -- tamoxifen, raloxifene, and tibolone -- significantly reduce invasive breast cancer in midlife and older women but that benefits and adverse effects can vary depending on the drug and the patient.

"Taking medicine to avoid breast cancer in the first place is an attractive notion, but the decision to do so must be made by patients in consultation with their clinicians with benefit of the best evidence available," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "These drugs are not necessarily for everyone. This report sheds important light on their advantages and potential harms."

The report is the first to make a direct, comprehensive comparison of the drugs so that women and their health care providers can assess the medications' potential effectiveness and adverse effects. The report compares the use of the three drugs to reduce the risks of getting breast cancer in women who have not previously had breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer of women (after skin cancer), with more than 190,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. It is estimated to cause more than 40,000 deaths per year. The National Cancer Institute estimates that nearly 15 percent of women born today will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. Most cases of breast cancer occur in women with no specific risk factors other than age and gender, although family history of breast and ovarian cancer is associated with higher risk.

Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998 to prevent breast cancer in women at high risk of developing the disease. Tamoxifen's use to reduce the risk of breast cancer is accepted clinical practice, although the drug is primarily used for treatment rather than risk reduction.

The AHRQ report compared tamoxifen with another SERM, raloxifene, which is primarily used to prevent and treat osteoporosis and was approved by the FDA for breast cancer risk reduction in 2007. A third drug, tibolone, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in the United States but is commonly used in other countries to treat menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis, also was included in the study.

The report found that all three drugs reduce the occurrence of breast cancer but have various side effects. The most common side effects for tamoxifen are flushing and other vasomotor symptoms (e.g., night sweats, hot flashes), vaginal discharge and other vaginal symptoms such as itching or dryness; for raloxifene, side effects include vasomotor symptoms and leg cramps; and for tibolone, side effects include vaginal bleeding.

The report also found that each drug carried the risk of adverse effects. It found that tamoxifen increases risk for endometrial cancer, hysterectomies, and cataracts compared with the other drugs. Tamoxifen and raloxifene increase risk of blood clots, although tamoxifen's risk is greater. Tibolone carries an increased risk of stroke.

The report also examined the drugs' effectiveness and harms based on such factors as age, menopausal status, estrogen use, and family history of breast cancer and sought to identify the kinds of women who might be good candidates for prevention therapy, although the evidence is limited in this area. The report called for more research to more clearly identify characteristics of patients who would benefit from these drugs while suffering the least harm.

AHRQ's new report, Comparative Effectiveness of Medications to Reduce Risk of Primary Breast Cancer in Women, is the latest analysis from the Agency's Effective Health Care Program. That program, authorized by the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, represents an important federal effort to compare alternative treatments for health conditions and make the findings public. The program is intended to help patients, doctors, nurses, and others choose the most effective treatments. Information, including the new report, can be found at www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Research: Popular Diabetes Medications Associated with Increase in Bone Fractures
2. New Studies Show Popular Heartburn Medications Moderate the Effect of Taking Widely Prescribed Heart Drug
3. Generic Substitutes Less Effective/Safe Than Branded Medications in Treating Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
4. Thomson Reuters Study Finds Sharp Increase in Use of Sleep Medications by Young Adults
5. AlphaDetail AlphaPulse(TM): Most Practicing Physicians React Positively to FDA Panels Recommendation for Additional Cardiovascular Safety Trials for New Diabetes Medications.
6. RICE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PHARMACY STAFF EXPERIENCES A 55% REDUCTION IN TIME SPENT MANAGING PATIENT-SPECIFIC MEDICATIONS USING OMNICELL SINGLEPOINTE SOLUTION
7. Wedgewood Introduces Refresh(TM) Exchange-Program: Free Exchange of Expired Veterinary Compounded Medications Solves Key Industry Problem
8. Researchers Find High-Dose Therapy for Liver Disease Not Effective
9. Clinical Study Proves Pollogens TriPollar(TM) Radio Frequency Technology is Effective in the Treatment of Stretch Marks
10. New Research Shows Effectiveness of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Spinal Tumors
11. National Cancer Institute Research Identifies Unique Mechanism of Brostallicins Anti-Tumor Effectiveness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, ... formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics ... new brand, which included the unveiling of new signage ... , as well as at a few other company-owned ... new brand to patients, some of whom will begin ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal ... wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients ... a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for ... analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... immunogenicity assessment, vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced ... focused on the development of personalized therapeutic cancer ... and has provided exclusive access to enabling technologies ... MSc Eng., MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and ... Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD ... that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many ... dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the ... 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought together ... equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event was ... of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here . ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released ... understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture ... Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):