Drug prevents breast cancer in high risk patients - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Drug prevents breast cancer in high risk patients

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Susan Talbert does not have breast cancer, but she is at high risk of getting the disease.
"I went for my screening mammogram last January and I had three areas of calcification which they classified as suspicious," Talbert said.

Her doctor recommended she take a drug called Anastrozole -- brand name Arimidex. New research in the Lancet shows it could help post-menopausal women like Susan by eliminating their estrogen production.
Reporter Vinita Nair: How does that help a women who is at an increased risk of breast cancer? What's the correlation?

Dr. Alison Estabrook/St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital: The more estrogen you have in your body the more you can develop estrogen-related breast cancer.
Researchers followed nearly 4,000 high risk, post-menopausal women for nine years. They found patients who received the anti-hormone therapy lowered their chances of getting breast cancer by 53-percent. "This is a very big finding because we used to put women on Tamoxifen, but that could lead to endometrial or uterine cancer,"  Dr. Estabrook said.
Talbert had been taking a drug similar to Tamoxifen called Raloxifene, but researchers say Anastrozole is more effective and has fewer and less serious side effects.
"The past options haven't been bad, but this option is better," Talbert said.
Side effects for Anastrozole include joint pain and bone loss.

Vinita Nair - CBS News

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