A new analysis published in The Lancet Oncology finds that, for the last 20 years, the preventive effects of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen have remained constant, having reduced breast cancer rates by almost a third.
In IBIS-I, the women were randomized to receive either 20 mg of tamoxifen or a placebo every day for 5 years. The health of all participants was monitored after treatment was completed, with an average follow-up time of 16 years (the maximum follow-up was at 22 years).
WOMEN TAKING TAMOXIFEN ‘AT INCREASED RISK FOR ENDOMETRIAL CANCER’
The researchers did not find a significant reduction in deaths specific to breast cancer following treatment with tamoxifen. Deaths from other causes were similar across both groups.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with an estimated 1.6 million cases per year worldwide. However, Prof. Cuzick says there has been a clear and continuing reduction in breast cancer rates, although there has not yet been a reduction in breast cancer deaths.