Tamoxifen Makes Women Live Longer Says Manufacturer of Tamoxifen
Women are to be forgiven if they are a bit cynical about breast cancer news. Since the 1940s women of a certain age were told they needed to be on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the rest of their lives only to find in 2002 it was causing breast cancer, heart disease, strokes and blood clots. The harm from HRT, recommended by the medical mainstream for decades, was so dramatic, when women quit HRT in 2002, the incidence of US breast cancer fell 15 percent among women with estrogen-fed cancer. Fourteen thousand women who were expected to get breast cancer didn't because they eliminated the source, said news reports. Rather than a "cure" for breast cancer, this was a literal "cause." Unfortunately, women, their clinicians and the medical press have already forgotten this man-made cause of cancer and are reviving the "therapy."
This week the medical press is reporting about a study in the Lancet that finds women who stay on the blockerbuster cancer drug Nolvadex/tamoxifen for 10 years instead of the usual five years are less likely to die and have cancer recur. Some are now theorizing that women should stay on tamoxifen, which mediates the effect of estrogen, "for life."
Why should women be cynical? First because the study was partially funded by AstraZeneca who makes Nolvadex or tamoxifen. AstraZeneca, formerly Zeneca, co-founded National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a "public relations scam," says the Center for Media and Democracy's SourceWatch, even as its parent company, ICI Pharmaceuticals/Imperial Chemicals Industries, manufactured pesticides and organophosphates linked to breast cancer. Some accused the drug giant of literally playing both sides of the street, especially since tamoxifen shares some chemical properties with endocrine disrupting pesticides.
Secondly, women should be cynical because tamoxifen carries its own risks and 3.1 percent of women undergoing the extra five years of tamoxifen therapy in the recent study got endometrial cancer. The drug is also linked to blood clots and hot flashes.
"My cancer had a one percent chance or recurring and I was told tamoxifen would cut my chances in half," says Kay, a Chicago fitness instructor who underwent surgery and radiation for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) at the age of 50. "That means if I exposed myself to the risks and side effects of tamoxifen, my chance of recurrence would be .5 percent. No thinking women would agree to that."
Finally, women should be cynical because in November the New England Journal of Medicine published a study estimating that mammograms have caused more than a million American women to be diagnosed with early-stage breast cancers that would not have proved fatal if left undetected and untreated. The millions, perhaps billions, spent in health care dollars treating such overdiagnosis and overtreatment in the last three decades have yet to be fully analyzed.