Researchers Say Breast Cancer Drug May Reduce Incidences of the Disease

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A breast cancer pill may have lowered incidences of cancer.

According to NBC News, a breast cancer pill called anastrozole that was developed to lower people's risk of developing the disease may also prevent it. The study was published in the Lancet medical journal. A group of postmenopausal women were given the drug every day for five years. In total, 3,800 people from 18 countries were part of the trial. Each participant was between ages 40 and 70. After five years, only 2.8 percent of women who took anastrozole developed breast cancer, compared to 5.6 percent in the control group. 

This study is the first random trial testing of the anastrozole drug.

"The reported reductions are larger than are those reported for tamoxifen or raloxifene. Therefore, anastrozole is an attractive option for postmenopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer," researchers wrote in the study.

Additionally, research found that hormone receptor positive cancers were prevented in the study, according to the source.

Aromatase inhibitors like anastrozole prevent breast cancer recurrence by limiting the development of contralateral tumors. Side effects from the drug can include blood clots and hot flashes. Additionally, aromatase inhibitors may weaken bones.

The study was funded by Cancer Research UK, the National Health and Medical Research Council Australia, Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca.

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