Tamoxifen's Risks

The cancer drug is okayed for healthy women, but you need a PC to decide whether to use it

Sometimes I think we all need to take a course in statistics before ever setting foot in a doctor's office. Case in point: the Food and Drug Administration's decision last week to approve the use of a breast-cancer drug called tamoxifen for women who don't have the disease but are at high risk of developing it. The FDA was swayed by the results of a study, made public by the National Cancer Institute last April, that showed that tamoxifen reduces by 45% these women's risk of developing breast cancer.

The catch: it also doubles their risk of uterine cancer and triples...

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