Tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen drug that was developed 30 years ago, is believed to be able to reduce the risk of death from breast cancer by up to 50 percent if taken for 10 years.
The use of tamoxifen in patients with cancer are usually only held for five years and are known to reduce the risk of death up to 1/3 times, as reported by the Daily Mail (05/12).
The experiment, called Atlas observes the use of this drug on 7,000 women with cancer who are sensitive to estrogen hormone. Half the participants only used it for five years, while others used it up to 10 years.
As a result, there are differences in reduction in the risk of death in participants who took tamoxifen for 10 years. They have a reduced risk of death a lot more, which is up to 50 percent.
“One third of women who get breast cancer have estrogen-sensitive disease. Research suggests that taking tamoxifen for 10 years could not only save patients’ lives when they take them, but also after diagnosis,” said Dr Christina Davies, chairman of the Oxford University study.
Martin Ledwick from Cancer Research UK said that the study also shed light on how long cancer patients have to take tamoxifen.