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Tamoxifen, a Known Carcinogen?

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posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 11:58 AM
Tamoxifen can be dangerous to your health. The drug can lose its effectiveness over time and can increase the incidence of other cancers in women. The promise that Tamoxifen could help decrease the chance of heart disease and help prevent osteoporosis has been diluted with mixed testing results. There are other alternatives to Tamoxifen and women should educate themselves.
It wasn't long before laboratory studies showed that tamoxifen acted as a carcinogen. It binds tightly and irreversibly to DNA, the genetic blueprint of a cell causing a cancerous mutation to take place. No amount of tamoxifen is safe when it comes to carcinogenic effects.

The irony of tamoxifen is that while widely publicized as the leading treatment for the recurrence of breast cancer, it is, in fact, a known carcinogenic substance. The World Health Organization, after reviewing the existing information about the carcinogenicity of tamoxifen, found unequivocal evidence confirming tamoxifen as human carcinogen.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Once again, there seems to be a widely used drug on the market that is not living up to its inital glow and may be far more dangerous than on taking the drug.
It sems that drug trials were halted because the results were so striking (see the healthfullife article.) Other studies were less than conclusive as to the drugs benefits.
I don't know about you, but this scares me a great deal.

Another article linked here also claims that Tamoxofen is the next DES. And we all remember the horrors of that drug!

I urge all women to learn everything they can about breast cancer, tamoxifen and alternative treatments. Don't rely on the claims of the safety of Tamofixen. Make your own educated conclusions.

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
Cancer: Stories, Links and related information
Stopping Cancer Naturally

[edit on 5-9-2005 by DontTreadOnMe]

[edit on 7-9-2005 by Nerdling]

[edit on 10-9-2005 by DJDOHBOY]

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 12:20 PM
From your provided link:

But National Breast Cancer Centre director Dr Helen Zorbas says those patients are identifiable, and there is no need to panic.

"The benefits of tamoxifen are extremely significant for women with early breast cancer who have these oestrogen-receptor positive receptors," Dr Zorbas said.

(The key there is "oestrogen-receptor positive")

If you are pre-menopausal and your cancer is estrogen-receptor-negative, then tamoxifen is unlikely to be useful to you to start with, and the risks will outweigh any possible benefit.

This link also provides information, but appears to be a little more objective.

The benefits and drawbacks of tamoxifen do depend largely on the type of breast cancer, and to a great extent, the health and biographical information of the patient; whilst it's true that in some cases the risks will outweigh the potential benefits (particularly with oestrogen-receptor negative cancers), it does seem premature to disgard it completely as a treatment option.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 01:10 PM
One would expect a government agency to minimize the potential dangers from tamoxifen.
People should not take the word of government agencies and drug companies a gospel.

It seems that even if the sources are not mainstream, they should no necessarily be ignored and considered invalid.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 01:17 PM
ALternate sources are always good, but to simply blow off a major theraputic oncology regime because some site that wishes to hawk its wares also should be considered.

Any medicine has risks and benifits that should be explained and nothing in medcine is ever 100%

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 03:04 PM
My nanna is on this drug after undergoing breast cancer treatment and im pretty sure there is an alternative to tamoxifen that she is trying to get on. The alternative drug, I'll find the name out tomorrow, is pretty expensive and its much more effective.

Now there is evidence to show that it could be a carcinogen I think it could be the clincher for my nanna to switch.

[edit on 5/9/05 by subz]

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 04:01 PM

I don't think women should blow off using Tamoxifen. But, I do think they should be aware of all the possibilities and as many alternatives as possible.

I don't have experience with this drug, but I do know when I have had need of medication and a new drug was offered, the doctor tends to not give you an unbiased view of the drug he's prescribing.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 05:15 PM
I don't think anyone has said tamoxifen isn't without it's risk and dangers

That's perhaps the point - it is a toxic substance, but this is neither news nor something we haven't known for awhile. It kills cells - that's what it's meant to do, and because of it's action will inevitably increase the risk, in some patients, of contracting other conditions.

But it has to be kept in perspective.

Literally millions of women owe their lives to tamoxifen; as with any of these drugs, it's a risk/benefit assessment, and one that absolutely should be fully considered by any patient. That's also why we seek second, and third opinions when it comes to such a potentially serious treatment option.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:39 PM
I admit I don't know much about the hows and whys of tamoxifen's effectiveness. But, it was my understanding the it is an estrogen blocker. So, it is not necessarily TOXIC. The definition of a carcinogen:

In pathology, a carcinogen is any substance or agent that promotes cancer. Carcinogens are also often, but not necessarily, mutagens or teratogens.
Carcinogens cause cancer by altering DNA in cells, interfering with normal biological processes.

Because it acts as an estrogen blocker, tamoxifen is prescribed to protect breast cancer patients whose tumors are estrogen positive.

Because these cancers require estrogen to grow, treatment standards —after surgery—have included cutting down the supply of estrogen either through drugs or through removal of the ovaries.

I don't think medicine is nearly as attuned to women's health issues as we'd like.
Our hormones are a delicate balancing act and anything that throws it out of whack can cause negative side effects.

[edit on 6-9-2005 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:53 PM
It's not just women that would be screwed if this was true. Steriod users would also have problems because it is the drug of choose for restarting normal test production.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:53 PM

The thing is, unopposed (excessive) estrogen is a problem.

That's what accelerates tumour growth in some breast cancer patients, and that's why Tamoxifen can help, just as removing the ovaries (the primary producers of estrogen) is an accepted (and usually effective) part of treatment in some breast and other estrogen-dependent cancers.

That's also why hormone replacement therapy is a very tricky area for many women who undergo oopherectomy (removal of the ovaries); the estrogen puts them at an increased risk of some other cancers.

In these cases, too much does seem to be worse than too little.

As for Tamoxifen - yes, it's going to have severe side effects, and for some these will outweigh the potential benefits of the treatment.

But for many, it will be a lifesaver.

posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 08:36 PM
Of course, it can be a lifesaver for some people.
But, like many other modern drugs, Tamoxifen is portrayed as a panacea in mainstream media.
I think it is important to present other than mainstream information on widely prescribed medications.
And anything to do with hormones is of special interest to me as there are xenoestrogens in our environment that further upset our hormone balance.

As far as women who have had their ovaries removed and needing HRT, I cannot imagine they would be given unopposed estrogen if they still have their uterus.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is almost always and estrogen and a progesterone for women who have their uterus.
I won't even go into the widespread us of atrificial mrmones for HRT--that is another subject.

@ DirtDevil
Actually, according to the National Cancer Inst., men are also given Tamoxifen for breast cancer.

posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 08:26 AM
I think we're basically in agreement here:

Tamoxifen has dangers.

It can also save lives.

That's basically the gist of what we're saying, yes?

(You're absolutely right, btw - Tamoxifen is used to treat male breast cancer patients, too, just as Lupron is used to treat prostate cancer)

Perhaps because my mother had two unrelated breast cancers (therefore presenting me with some bias), and was able to utilise Tamoxifen (which she calls her "guardian angel", of all things), and because I do have industry experience, I haven't really picked up on the media reporting it as a panacea, or not mentioning the potential dangers.

Every cancer forum I ever attended (admittedly most were aimed at professionals, but I did go to several aimed at patients) has been quite explicit in not only explaining the necessity of making sure your patient is aware of the risks, but also explaining viable alternatives when they're appropriate.

Having said that, we all know that some doctors are just completely inept at doing one or both of these things.

Luckily most aren't so bad

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