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New Cancer Drug with Fewer Side Effects
The osteoporosis drug Raloxifene works as well as Tamoxifen, a drug in the same category, at reducing the risk of breast cancer in high-risk postmenopausal women, showing fewer side effects. The 5 year study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene which took into consideration 19,747 postmenopausal women showed that Raloxifene has a smaller risk than Tamoxifen for causing blood clots and uterine cancer. "We believe that Raloxifene is the winner of this trial. Today, we can tell you that for postmenopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer, Raloxifene is just as effective, without some of the serious side effects known to occur with Tamoxifen," said Dr. Lawrence Wickerham, a doctor involved in the study. Tamoxifen, sold under the brand name Nolvadex, has been prescribed for a long time to treat and prevent breast cancer. Some women are hesitative when it comes to taking it because it increases the risk of developing uterine cancer and blood clots. Raloxifene users had 36% fewer uterine cancers and 29% fewer blood clots, also suffering from fewer vision-blocking cataracts, showed the study. Still, Dr. Kathy Albain of Loyola University, a study researcher, noted that the study means no change for pre-menopausal women because it does not prove Raloxifene is safe for them. Women who take Tamoxifen for about 5 years and who experienced so far no major side effects have little to gain by switching to the other drug. Breast cancer is the 2nd cause of death for U.S. women, after lung cancer. 1.2 million women in the world are diagnosed annually with the breast cancer.

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