Strange are the ways of modern medicine and sometimes it takes whole studies and big sums of money to figure out that, essentially, we already had an answer. Recently, this has happened in the generic drugs v breast cancer battle, as it has been uncovered that commonly prescribed drugs are far more successful than was initially believed.
Two completely separate studies have uncovered groundbreaking, revolutionary, and field changing results about the treatment of breast cancer. Their general conclusion is that two drugs, which are currently available, are inexpensive and generic in all possible ways, are extremely good at fighting the cancer and reducing the number of deaths from the disease.
The drugs fit in two classes: aromatase and bisphosphonates. When taken by postmenopausal women which are in the early stages of breast cancer, they greatly improve the rate of survival. Furthermore, using a combination of these two not only helps fight cancer, but also reduces both drugs’ side effects.
The collaborative group Early Breast Cancer Trialists is a worldwide team of researchers which has been founded at the Oxford University in England. The group’s aim is to gather and index all of the worldwide research on breast cancer trials and the treatments that are used. This way, they can present a better, large scale perspective on the treatment of the disease on a large test group.
The gathered research shows that aromatase inhibitors, already known to be a good drug for breast and ovarian cancer post-menopausal patients, has been proven to be far better than doctors thought. Lancet published the study which reported that if women take the drug over a five-year period, then their chances of surviving their type of cancer for 10 years more increase by 40%. This is incredible news for many.
Now, combine that with the other drug, and the results are truly astounding. Bisphosphonates are generally given to patients suffering from osteoporosis. Yet, Sheffield University researchers found that it prevents the reemergence and spreading of breast cancer as well. How so?
Well, the bisphosphonates act upon the chemical structure of the bone, effectively altering it so that the cancer cells, which often spread from the breast to the bone, find it completely inhospitable. The overall risk reducing over 10 years was 28% for the spread of the cancer, and 18% for breast cancer death.
Combine the drugs, and you get a cancer survival rate of 58%, which is pretty close to two thirds. It is easy to understand now why doctors have become so excited about these new findings.
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