Osteoporosis drug 'prevents breast cancer'

Last updated at 09:22 19 April 2006

A drug used to treat osteoporosis also guards against breast cancer researchers have claimed.

They found Evista has fewer side effects and could reduce the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by 50 per cent.

In an extensive trial scientists studied the effect of Evista (raloxifene) on more than 19,000 post-menopausal women. They compared it with the breast cancer drug tamoxifen.

Both lowered the risk of breast cancer but Evista also reduced the risk of uterine cancers and blood clots - both possible side effects of tamoxifen. Evista is also 25 per cent cheaper than tamoxifen.

Researcher Norman Wolmark, of the US National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project said:

"We can tell you that for post-menopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer, raloxifene (Evista) is just as effective, without some of the serious side effects known to occur with tamoxifen."

The study was run by the National Cancer Institute in the US.

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