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A study funded by Novartis has reported that its breast cancer drug Femara is more effective at preventing the return of breast cancer following surgery than tamoxifen. An estimated 40,000 of the 211,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the US will die. Roughly 500,000 American women take tamoxifen. Both Femara and Tamoxifen reduce estrogen levels in the body and hence inhibit the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors. Tamoxifen blocks estrogen receptors and can be used as a preventative measure for women at high risk of developing breast cancer. Femara works by attacking aromatase which is a key factor in the process of conversion of androgen into estrogen. Study results revealed that Femara reduced the risk of breast cancer return by 19% compared to tamoxifen and was very effective in preventing the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body. Side effects of Femara included increased risk of bone fractures, slightly higher cholesterol and a very small risk of heart attack and stroke. Femara can't be used during pregnancy. Side effects of tamoxifen include clotting, vaginal bleeding and endometrial changes.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Fox News - Web MD
About: Breast cancer drug Femara superior to Tamoxifen
Date: 27 January 2005
Source: Fox News - Web MD
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