Medicine for Breast Cancer Treatment? And Prevention!

Medicine for Breast Cancer Treatment? And Prevention!

The study evaluates a drug that has been used as treatment for some women with breast cancer, evaluating its effectiveness in a different task – preventing cancer from happening in high-risk women.


Anastrozole was evaluated in this study of over 3800 postmenopausal high-risk women followed on average for over 5 years and was found to be effective in reducing the number of women who developed breast cancer. The numbers are impressive: a 53% reduction in incidence of breast cancer.


How does this work? The majority of breast cancer tumors have hormone receptors – places where hormones fit like a lock into a key, and those hormones can fuel the growth of the cancer cells. So by holding back the hormones, cell growth can be inhibited. The hormone responsible for this problem? Estrogen. The solution? Anastrozole prevents the body from making it.


The study is on-going, with plans to continue the evaluation over a 10 year period. So far, the positive results have also not been associated with troublesome side effects from the medication – another win. This promising study has the potential to change the outlook for postmenopausal high-risk women in the future. Prevention is a word we like and hope to be able to use more in the ongoing fight against breast cancer.



Image credit: Arimidex by Editor182 via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public Domain

Originally published 12/27/13 on