Study: Tamoxifen reduces breast cancer risk, saves money

09:34, March 16, 2011      

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Giving the drug Tamoxifen to women who are at increased risk of breast cancer can reduce cancer risk or deaths and save money, according to a study online Monday in the journal Cancer.

The study, based on a mathematical model, shows Tamoxifen can prevent 29 breast cancer cases and nine breast cancer deaths for every 1,000 women treated.

It also shows that protection persists for 10 years after treatment concludes.

"Whether a woman who meets these criteria should take tamoxifen is a personal decision that should be made with her doctor," said researcher Joyce Noah-Vanhoucke, a scientist at Archimedes Inc., an independent health-care modeling organization in San Francisco, the United States.

Tamoxifen also saves 47,580 dollars in health-care costs per 1,000 women treated, unlike many other treatments, which benefit patients but come with a high price tag, according to the study.

The cost savings arise because the drug prevents breast cancer cases from occurring in the first place.

Researchers warn the problem with Tamoxifen is that it comes with some serious side effects. It increases the risk of stroke, blood clots and endometrial cancer, and can induce menopause, or cause hot flashes in post-menopausal women.

Source: Xinhua/Agencies
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