Breast cancer drug has serious side effects - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Breast cancer drug has serious side effects

Millions of women who are at risk for breast cancer, take the drug Tam-ox-i-fen to prevent it.

But Tamoxifen has two serious side effects: blood clots... and uterine cancer.

Cancer prevention coordinator Caroline Tate says, "You have got to decide what you are afraid of more."

Now, a five-year study of nearly 20-thousand women has found the Osteoporosis drug Raloxifene also reduces breast cancer risk by 50 percent -- and with a third fewer uterine cancers and blood clots!

The National Cancer Institute's Dr. Worta McCaskill Stevens says, "Not as many women have been participating because of the side effects of the drug. So now women have a choice."

Breast cancer runs in Memphian Mary Frances Moore's family...

She sailed through the study with few side effects.

Study participant Mary Frances Moore say, "Waking up with hot flashes in the middle of the night and kicking covers off may have been the worst."

Pansey Borden found non-cancerous lumps in both breasts... and has an aunt with breast cancer.

She participated in the study... hoping to protect her children.

Borden says, "I have a daughter and four granddaughters, and I just wanted to do whatever needs to be done to make sure they're safe and taken care of."

Last week, Raloxifene's manufacturer -- Eli Lilly -- announced results of a separate study... looking at whether the drug could prevent heart disease.

It didn't... but that trial ALSO found Raloxifene reduces breast cancer risk.

It's good news for women like Mary Frances:

Borden continues, -"I have a daughter and two granddaughters and the key to me for doing this study...was prevention."

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