Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cancer drug “wrongly abandoned”

Women with breast cancer may be giving
up on an effective drug because they
mistakenly believe that it is causing them
horrible side effects. A hormonal therapy,
tamoxifen is prescribed to many women
who have had breast cancer, and to those
with a genetic predisposition to it. The
drug is believed to cut the risk of the
disease recurring by more than 30%, if
taken for long enough. However, research
by Cancer Research UK suggests that one
in three patients do not continue taking it
for the recommended five years, most likely
because of its association with nausea and
vomiting, hot flushes, sweats and low
libido. But in the new study, researchers
found that the nausea and vomiting also
occurred in many patients who took a
placebo drug – suggesting these symptoms
may have a separate, as yet unknown,
cause. “Our findings have implications for
how doctors talk to patients about the
benefits and side effects of preventive
therapies such as tamoxifen,” said Dr
Samuel Smith of Cancer Research UK.

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