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Tamoxifen Therapy Should Last 5 Years.

The much-criticized drug tamoxifen -- a synthetic hormone widely prescribed to prevent recurrences of breast cancer -- should be taken for 5 years after early-stage cancers are removed and should then be stopped, two new studies show.

Tamoxifen has been engulfed in controversy ever since several major studies detected a steep increase in the incidence of uterine cancer among women taking the drug.

Now, a Swedish study of 3887 women indicates that those who took tamoxifen for 5 years had fewer recurrences of breast cancer than women who took the drug for just 2 years. And a U.S. study of 2818 women found that the benefits of 5 years' worth of tamoxifen therapy persisted for 5 years but that there was no additional advantage of a longer course of treatment or any likelihood that a longer course would be worth the accompanying risk of uterine cancer.

-- Science News, 11/23/97
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Title Annotation:breast cancer therapy
Publication:Special Delivery
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 1997
Words:150
Previous Article:Estrogen and Breast Cancer.
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