Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer can save lives and money, study suggests

Date:
June 20, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Tamoxifen, taken by certain women as a preventive measure against breast cancer, saves lives and reduces medical costs, a new study suggests. The study's results suggest that the benefits of tamoxifen to prevent cancer can sufficiently compensate for its side effects in post-menopausal women under age 55 years who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Tamoxifen, taken by certain women as a preventive measure against breast cancer, saves lives and reduces medical costs. That is the conclusion of a new study published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study's results suggest that the benefits of tamoxifen to prevent cancer can sufficiently compensate for its side effects in post-menopausal women under age 55 years who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Research has shown that tamoxifen can protect against breast cancer for years after treatment ends, but identifying the group of women who can most benefit from the drug as a cancer preventive agent, without experiencing serious side effects, is a challenge. Side effects of the drug can include pulmonary embolism, endometrial cancer, deep vein thrombosis, and cataracts, as well as hot flashes and early menopause.

To investigate those women who would benefit the most from taking tamoxifen as a cancer preventive drug, Peter Alperin, MD, of Archimedes Inc. in San Francisco, and his colleagues used a mathematical model to simulate a post-menopausal population under age 55 years in a virtual clinical trial comparing tamoxifen treatment with no treatment. The investigators modeled tamoxifen therapy based on an analysis of four randomized, placebo-controlled cancer prevention trials, and they assessed the effects that tamoxifen would have on women's breast cancer risk for 10 years following the end of treatment. Cancer incidences and survival information were taken from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results cancer registry, while factors such as non-cancer disease incidences, quality of life, and costs were taken from the medical literature.

The researchers found that in post-menopausal women ages 55 years and younger with a 5-year risk of developing breast cancer of 1.66 percent or greater, the benefits of tamoxifen are maximized while its side effects are minimized. "In this group of women, using tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer saves lives and has a low frequency of side effects," said Dr. Alperin. He added that it also saves medical costs. "Specifically, chemoprevention with tamoxifen prevents 29 breast cancer cases and 9 breast cancer deaths per 1,000 women treated, and it saves $47,580 per 1,000 women treated in the United States."

These findings may help physicians and their patients as they strive to identify optimal breast cancer prevention options for individual women based on their current health and demographic profile. In addition, investigators can use mathematical modeling and cost-effectiveness analyses, such as those described in this study, to explore different prevention strategies and evaluate their impact on health and economic outcomes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joyce Noah-Vanhoucke, Linda E. Green, Tuan A. Dinh, Peter Alperin, Robert A. Smith. Cost-effectiveness of chemoprevention of breast cancer using tamoxifen in a postmenopausal US population. Cancer, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25926

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer can save lives and money, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314091636.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, June 20). Taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer can save lives and money, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314091636.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer can save lives and money, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314091636.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins