Double Duty

Raloxifene may prevent bone loss and breast cancer, but it's still not ready for widespread use

Two years ago there wasn't a pill in the world that had been proved to reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. Today there are two: tamoxifen, which doctors have used for more than 25 years to treat breast tumors after they have formed; and raloxifene, a newer drug that was originally designed to prevent osteoporosis but that, according to a study in last week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, may also afford some protection against breast cancer.

Both drugs have been dubbed "designer estrogens" because they block estrogen's ability to promote tumor growth in...

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