The two classes of drugs, mentioned in two separate studies, can significantly decrease both recurrence and breast cancer mortality rate.
Studies published in "The Lancet" claim that two inexpensive and generic drugs can significantly reduce the recurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women and can decrease the death rate.
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The findings, which were provided by The Institute of Cancer Research, UK, suggest that two drugs which are available in generic form – aromatase inhibitors and bisphosphonates have a profound effect on preventing breast cancer recurrence in postmenopausal women in early stage.
The first study looked at the results of around 30,000 postmenopausal women with Estrogen receptor-positive. The estrogen receptors which are used by breast cancer tumors for their growth.
Currently, women with ER-positive breast cancer are mostly treated with a drug called tamoxifen. According to the study, aromatase therapy is more effective than a standard tamoxifen treatement. It reduces the breast cancer mortality rate by about 15% compared with tamoxifen while 5 years of aromatase therapy reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer by about 40% when there is no treatment at all.
However, aromatase inhibitor treatment is no free of side-effects and may cause shortness of breath, chest pain, hot flashes, muscle or joint pain and depression.
“It’s important to ensure that woman with significant side effects are supported to try to continue to take treatment and fully benefit from it.” Study’s lead author Prof. Mitch Dowsett denotes.
The second study analyzes the results of around 18,000 women who have used bishphosnates, a class of drug often prescribed to postmenopausal women for preventing osteoporosis or bone weakening.
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The study compares 2 to 5 years of using bisphosnate verses no bisphonate treatment and indicates that drug significantly boosts survival and also reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence in the bones.