[MOL] tamoxifen & breast cancer deaths down 25% [00905] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] tamoxifen & breast cancer deaths down 25%

Now here's an intersting twist -- they're giving most of the credit to
tamoxifen for the reduction in breast cancer deaths!! Love


Better treatment slashes breast cancer deaths by a quarter, researchers
    [05/20/2000; Cable News Network]

LONDON (AP) -- Better treatment over the last decade has slashed
breast cancer death rates in the United States and Britain --
by as much as 25 percent among some groups -- and will save the
lives of 14,000 women this year in the two countries, researchers

Most of the credit goes to the drug tamoxifen, taken by about
1 million women worldwide, said Sir Richard Peto, a professor
of epidemiology at Oxford University who headed the study, published
this week in The Lancet medical journal. 

"This is the first time that improvements in the treatment of
any type of cancer have ever produced such a rapid fall in national
death rates," according to Peto, who said he examined the largest
collection of existing evidence on cancer therapy so far assembled.

"They really are remarkable trends," he said. 

While "a lot of things contribute, I think the key one is tamoxifen,"
Peto said, adding that it's much too sudden a drop to be due
to changes in the causes of the disease. 

Britain and the United States were studied mostly because they
had the most current, detailed statistical information and because
they were among the first to use tamoxifen, Peto said. 

An analysis of other Western countries would show they already
are starting to see a similar trend, said Dr. Kent Osborne, director
of the breast center at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, who
was not connected with the study. 

Osborne agreed with Peto that breast cancer screening, which only
started to become widespread in the 1980s, has not been around
long enough to cause the death rates to drop. 

Peto said death rates will continue to decline once the benefits
of screening emerge and other countries begin to more widely
use tamoxifen. 

The full article can be found at:

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