Tamoxifen
tamoxifenTamoxifen was not significantly protective against breast cancer in women at normal or slightly reduced risk of the disease. The principal investigators were concerned about the large numbers of women withdrawing from the study, the unexpected finding with hypertriglyceridaemia, the findings about vascular events, and the number of well women complaining about the side-effects of tamoxifen in addition to an increased occurrence of endometrial cancer.

Comment:

In this study tamoxifen was "not significantly protective against breast cancer". It is associated with increased endometrial cancer, as well as thrombosis and hypertriglyceridaemia. Instead of looking at drugs to solve this problem, we need to focus on our lifestyle and environment. When we as a society focus our efforts in this area, then we will start to get spectacular results.

“In terms of attributable risk, the authors conclude that "if all postmenopausal women in the population modify their saturated fat intake to (that of the lower one-fifth of the population), the current rate of breast cancer would be reduced by 10% in postmenopausal women … were to increase fruit and vegetable intake to reach an average daily consumption of vitamin C (equivalent to that of the highest one-fifth of the population), risk of breast cancer … would be reduced by 16%." The effects were approximately additive, and simultaneously make both changes would reduce the risk by 24%” (Vitamin C and Cancer Prevention: The Epidemiologic Evidence", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1991)

And there are other factors to decrease a person's risk of not only cancer but of other diseases as well. Eliminating smoking, alcohol and drugs, pesticides and other chemicals, and plastics all has a positive impact on cancer risk. Increasing fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and minerals, fresh air, stress management, and exercise all lead to a healthier body and lowered chance of developing disease. If we focus on a daily basis on the positives in regards to our health then we will be making a significant progress in disease prevention and improving the quality of all our lives.



Prevention of breast cancer with tamoxifen: preliminary findings from the Italian randomised trial among hysterectomised women. PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 July 1998 00:00
“Background: Tamoxifen is a candidate chemopreventive agent in breast cancer, although the drug may be associated with the development of endometrial cancer. Therefore we did a trial in hysterectomised women of tamoxifen as a chemopreventive.”

“Methods: In October, 1992, we started a double-blind placebo-controlled, randomised trial of tamoxifen in women (mainly in Italy) who did not have breast cancer and who had had a hysterectomy. Women were randomised to receive tamoxifen 20 mg per day or placebo, both orally for 5 years. The original plan was to follow the intervention phase by 5 years' follow-up. In June, 1997, the trialists and the data-monitoring committee decided to end recruitment primarily because of the number of women dropping out of the study. Recruitment ended on July 11, 1997, and the study will continue as planned. The primary endpoints are the occurrence of and deaths from breast cancer. This preliminary interim analysis is based on intention-to-treat.”

“Findings: 5408 women were randomised; participating women have a median follow-up of 46 months for major endpoints. 41 cases of breast cancer occurred so far; there have been no deaths from breast cancer. There is no difference in breast-cancer frequency between the placebo (22 cases) and tamoxifen (19) arms. There is a statistically significant reduction of breast cancer among women receiving tamoxifen who also used hormone-replacement therapy during the trial: among 390 women on such therapy and allocated to placebo, we found eight cases of breast cancer compared with one case among 362 women allocated to tamoxifen. Compared with the placebo group, there was a significantly increased risk of vascular events and hypertriglyceridaemia among women on tamoxifen.”
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