New drug reduces risk by 65%
The new drug Exemestane that is sold under the name Aromasin will help reduce the risk of tumors by almost 65% in post-menopausal women who are at a risk of developing breast cancer. The drug is presently used to treat breast cancer and does not have the huge side effects caused by other drugs like tamoxifen and raloxifene.Exemestane more effective
The drug Exemestane was found to reduce the risk in moderate to high-risk post-menopausal women by 65% over a period of three years. In comparison, tamoxifen reduces this risk by 50% over five years, and raloxifene is effective to reduce the risk by 38% during the same period. However, both these medications increase the risk of the dangerous uterine cancer and blood clots. Less than four percent of women who may benefit from these drugs actually use them.
Exemestane does not have the grave side effects
Dr. Paul E Goss from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center reported that the drug already used to treat breast cancer does not have the grave side effects of the other two drugs. Experts believe that the number of women choosing prophylactic therapy will increase as the drug is already used to treat breast cancer and can be prescribed for any other purpose as deemed right by the doctors.
Effect on curtailing death still unknown
Breast cancer is the second commonest cancer that causes death amongst American women. According to Dr. Joanne Mortimer, all these three drugs reduce the risk of cancer; however, their effectiveness in reducing the risk of death is unknown. Therefore, this is a primary reason why women choose not to use these medicines. Numerous studies show that estrogen produced within the body causes breast cancer. Tamoxifen and raloxifene bind the receptors to the surface of the breast tissue, which prevents the estrogen from being bound. In comparison, Exemestane prevents the body from producing estrogen.
Trial comprised women from USA, Canada, France and Spain
The new study comprised 4520 women from the United States, Canada, France, and Spain with an average age of 62.5 years. All the women were post-menopausal with at least one additional risk factor. Half of the women were prescribed exemestane for three years and the other half were given placebo. At the end of three years, it was found that only eleven invasive breast cancers patients were there in the first group receiving Exemestane. In comparison, there were 32 cases in the other group treated with placebo. Additionally. There were lower precancerous lesions in the first group.