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Prostate drug `reduces breast cancer risk`

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Research has found a hormone treatment usually used on men with prostate cancer can help reduce the long-term risk of breast cancer and death in pre-menopausal women.

Doctors at University College London (UCL) compared the drug Zoladex with that of the standard breast cancer hormone therapy, tamoxifen, and found it can help women with early breast cancer.

When used to treat men, Zoladex, which is the brand name for the drug goserelin, reduces production of the male sex hormone testosterone, which has been found to fuel prostate cancer. The drug was used in a similar way to treat breast cancer patients to cut production of the female sex hormone oestrogen, which spurs on the growth of most breast cancers.

In tests for the Zoladex in Premenopausal Patients Study, 2,706 women were assigned either Zoladex alone, tamoxifen, both agents or neither drug.

Scientists found that over two years the effect of Zoladex treatment was comparable to that of tamoxifen.

For women who took Zoladex alone there were 13.9 fewer adverse outcomes per 100 patients 15 years after starting treatment than there were for those taking neither drug.

The number of breast cancer deaths was also lower by 8.5 per 100 women in those who took Zoladex alone.

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