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Tamoxifen reduces risk of breast cancer in high risk patients

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:244
  1. Debashis Singh
  1. London

    Prophylactic use of tamoxifen over five years reduces the incidence of breast cancer by 38% in healthy women with a high risk of developing the disease, a study published in the Lancet says (2003;361:296-300).

    The authors, from Cancer Research UK, conducted an extensive review of 14 trials involving over 40 000 women. Four of the trials tested the role of tamoxifen as a preventive treatment in 28 000 women, and another trial, involving 7700 women, tested the role of raloxifene instead. Both drugs were compared with a placebo. In nine trials 15 000 women who had had a tumour removed from one breast were treated with tamoxifen to prevent the cancer returning.

    The study found that in healthy women with a high chance of developing the disease tamoxifen reduced the incidence …

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