‘Potential breakthrough’ for breast cancer treatment

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Source: The Telegraph – LAURA DONNELLY

New HRT pill that could prevent breast cancer

Photo: ALAMY

A new HRT pill that could prevent breast cancer has been hailed as a   breakthrough with the potential to help millions of women

Scientists said the treatment was “the great hope” for women around the world, because current drugs taken by those approaching the menopause have been repeatedly linked with a higher risk of the disease.

Experts said they believed the pill could also protect millions of breast cancer survivors who choose, because of side effects, to stop taking long-term medication to prevent the disease returning.

Trials involving more than 6,000 women found that the new HRT pill dramatically reduced menopausal symptoms and cut rates of osteoporosis. Rates of bone fracture fell by 40 per cent, while hot flushes reduced by 85 per cent — a significant improvement on standard HRT.

The pill also contains bazedoxifene which blocks the cancer-causing effects of oestrogen. And it does not contain progesterone which is in most HRT and increases breast cancer risks. The hormone is placed in standard treatments because oestrogen alone increases the risk of disease of the womb, but the new drug caused no such effect.

This means women would gain the benefits of HRT without the risks; instead, it could reduce their risk of breast cancer. Prof Richard Santen, from the University of Virginia, was part of the team that developed the drug. He said: “If this does what we think it does, this is huge.” Read more

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The ONA Editor curates oncology news, views and reviews from Australia and around the world for our readers. In aggregated content, original sources will be acknowledged in the article footer.

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