Not Quite A Wonder Drug, But It'S Something

Marisa Demarco
1 min read
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It used to be that tamoxifen was the only known drug to reduce the risk of breast cancer. But it had some nasty side effects, including uterine cancer and blood clots.

But according to a recent article in the Washington Post [link], a government study shows that a drug called Evista, used to prevent bone thinning in postmenopausal women, does the same thing but with fewer dangerous side effects.

The FDA hasn’t approved it yet for breast cancer prevention, and some doctors are calling the advance “modest.” But because it’s already marketed for osteoporosis, doctors may prescribe the drug for prevention before it goes through the FDA process.

Evista, also known as raloxifene, reduces the risk by 50 percent by halting some of the effects of estrogen on breast tissue. In the study, people testing both tamoxifen and raloxifene had fewer instances of uterine cancers and blood clots with raloxifene. Still, that’s fewer—not none. But with breast cancer killing more than 40,000 women each year, that’s something.

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