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Nation IN BRIEF : NATIONWIDE

Tamoxifen Backed for Breast Cancer

November 06, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The lifesaving benefit of taking tamoxifen to treat early breast cancer lasts for at least a decade, but only if the drug is used for five years and no longer, two studies showed. The research, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that women who took tamoxifen for five years after early breast cancer surgery had up to an 18% better chance of surviving without relapse than patients who did not take the drug. One study showed that taking the drug for longer than five years conferred no survival advantage and could risk other disorders, including endometrial cancer. Tamoxifen is prescribed after breast cancer surgery for women whose illness is diagnosed in the early stages.

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