Drugs offer hope

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We’re excited about the good news we published this week about the old breast cancer drugs Tamoxifen and Raloxifene. New tests have shown that both could be prescribed as preventive therapy for breat cancer, which affects many women in our country and around the world.

All medical advances should offer great hope, and this one, which emerges out of new international trials, is especially gratifying as it shows that the two drugs can improve the chances of good health for high-risk women.

The drugs could slash the chances of those women contracting breast cancer by up to 63 percent, which could well be described as phenomenal. As breast cancer activists have said, it’s crucial news for those who need an array of options to help control their risk – and in our country, that’s a high number, at one in 26.

It’s also always invigorating when a South African scientist or doctor has been involved, even in some small way, in a medical breakthrough. And so, even more good news is that respected local oncologist Carol-Ann Benn had done her own studies on the drugs, and her findings concur with those of the international trials.

We can only hope that, if the drugs are allowed to be prescribed, this would become standard in our country. Many lives could be saved.


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