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Anti cancer pill studied
About the author: 

Doctors are working on a contraceptive pill that they say will also prevent breast cancer

Doctors are working on a contraceptive pill that they say will also prevent breast cancer.

The new drug, called gestodene, used as an ingredient in a low dose contraceptive pill, Femodene, will be stepped up in potency in order to work as a "chemopreventive".

Supposedly the drug works by stopping the growth of cancer cells in the breast and could be available in two years with the announcement of the result of a two year study.

Once women are persuaded to gulp down this drug as a just in case measure perhaps the next to follow is a drug to prevent the known side effects of the pill itself, such as stroke.

And speaking of breast cancer, a recent study by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) in Pittsburgh, published in the Lancet (10 August 1991) confirmed that women undergoing simple lumpectomy (removal of the tumour), rather than lumpectomy plus radiation or mastectomy can more accurately predict whether they will suffer a recurrence of disease.

Those with breast cancer who develop ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence (IBTR) are nearly four times more likely to go on to develop the disease again. However IBTR, which is a "marker", not a cause of the disease, is prevented with mastectomy or radiation, both treatments of which do not lower the risk of eventual disease. The study concluded that its results "further justify the use of lumpectomy" over more radical surgery for breast cancer.


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