Now, new research shows that a lower dose of the hormone therapy helped prevent breast cancer from returning and guarded against new
cancers in women who had high-risk breast tissue.On top of that, the
lower dose -- just 5 milligrams daily -- came with fewer troubling side
effects.wisepoqder ß-agonist Powder
"Low-dose tamoxifen is as effective as the standard dose," said study author Dr. Andrea De Censi. He is director of the medical oncology
unit at the National Hospital E.O. Ospedali Galliera -- S.C. Oncologia
Medica in Genoa, Italy.De Censi said the rate of side effects -- such as
hot flashes, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse and muscle pain
-- was similar to the rate that occurred with a placebo pill. The side
effect rate for the low-dose therapy was significantly less than what
previous research has shown with the standard 20 milligram (mg) dose of
tamoxifen, he noted.
In addition, the risk of serious side effects, such as blood clots and endometrial cancer, were similar to that of the placebo, and less
than what typically occurs with the 20 mg dose, De Censi said.Hormone
therapy for breast cancer interferes with the growth of cancer cells in a
few ways. One is by blocking the body from producing certain hormones.
Another is by disrupting the effects of certain hormones on cancer
cells, according to the American Cancer Society.
In the case of tamoxifen, it works by binding to estrogen-receptors. Some cancers -- those called estrogen-receptor positive -- are fueled
by estrogen. Tamoxifen blocks the estrogen-receptors on cancer cells,
keeping them from getting the fuel they need to grow.De Censi said he
was interested in doing the study because the minimum effective dose of
tamoxifen hadn't been researched.
The drug was developed in the late 1960s, he said, and at the time researchers weren't looking for the minimum effective dose because
prevention was the key issue. However, above a certain dose, tamoxifen
won't produce any extra benefit, but it will raise the risk of side
effects, De Censi said.