A new study on the effectiveness of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen has found that patients can do better by taking the drug for ten years, rather than the current standard of five.
The study made quite a stir in the cancer treatment world in December when it was presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The international study involved 6,846 breast cancer survivors and found that those who took tamoxifen for ten years had a lower rate of returning breast cancer, than those who took the drug for five years and then stopped. The death rate was also improved.
All the study participants had estrogen-receptor positive cases of breast cancer. At the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, breast cancer specialist Dr. Mary Ann Allison has been using Tamoxifen on patients for many years. The new findings show an exciting improvement. She told 8 News Now, "The take home for most women who are on Tamoxifen, when they approach the five year point, they should really have a serious conversation about the pros and cons of continuing. Everybody is different; all tumors are different, but at that point and time you need to be looking at taking Tamoxifen for ten years versus five years."
For the group taking Tamoxifen for ten years, the risk of their cancer returning was just over 21-percent. For the group which took tamoxifen for just five years, and stopped, the risk of recurrence was 25-percent.
The death rate was also reduced in the 10 year group. As for side effects, a slight increase in the risk for endometrial cancer was seen, but it didn't affect the death rate and no increase in stroke risk was seen.
Here is a link to another article on the ten-year study of Tamoxifen:
And a dissenting viewpoint: