Breast Cancer Treatment News: Study Shows Benefit of Longer Tamoxifen Treatment

A study published this month suggests, that for certain breast cancers, a 10-year course of treatment of tamoxifen could benefit some patients instead of the usually prescribed 5-year treatment. The study, published in The Lancet, found that:
"For women with ER-positive disease, continuing tamoxifen to 10 years rather than stopping at 5 years produces a further reduction in recurrence and mortality, particularly after year 10. These results, taken together with results from previous trials of 5 years of tamoxifen treatment versus none, suggest that 10 years of tamoxifen treatment can approximately halve breast cancer mortality during the second decade  after diagnosis."
As reported in the New York Times in a related article, Bigger Role Seen for Breast Cancer Drug:
"The widely prescribed drug tamoxifen already plays a major role in reducing the risk of death from breast cancer. But a new study suggests that women should be taking the drug for twice as long as is now customary, a finding that could upend the standard that has been in place for about 15 years.
In the study, patients who continued taking tamoxifen for 10 years were less likely to have the cancer come back or to die from the disease than women who took the drug for only five years, the current standard of care."      
Also reported in the Times:
"Breast cancer specialists not involved in the study said the results could have the biggest impact on premenopausal women, who account for a fifth to a quarter of new breast cancer cases. Postmenopausal women tend to take different drugs, but some experts said the results suggest that those drugs might be taken for a longer duration as well." 
Persons diagnosed with breast cancer should consult their oncologist to discuss the findings of this study.    

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