Estrogen-blocking drug could help cancer survivors

A new study has found that anti-estrogen medications can prevent the recurrence of breast cancer in some women.

Aromasin is the name of the drug, according to Health Day. It belongs to a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors and it has reduced the risk of recurrence among breast cancer patients.

“For years, tamoxifen has been the standard hormone therapy for preventing breast cancer recurrences in young women with hormone-sensitive disease. These results confirm that exemestane with ovarian function suppression constitutes a valid alternative,” study lead author Dr. Olivia Pagani.
The Aromasin reduced the risk of recurrence by a third compared to tamoxifen. Aromatase inhibitors, like Aromasin, prevent hormones from changing into estrogen, which is known the fuel breast cancer.
Tamoxifen, however, simply blocks cancer cells from using estrogen. Aromasin, according to Reuters, has been largely unavailable for women whose ovaries still function.
The drug has historically been used in post-menopausal women. Premenopausal women have been treated with five years of tamoxifen, but the new research shows that aromasin is actually more beneficial in warding off recurrences.
Based on the new results, shutting down the ovaries of a woman recovering from cancer would certainly help reduce risk.
Results showing what shutting down the ovaries does for a woman in recovery are expected to be released later this year.

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