Breast cancer survivors who cut short preventative treatment 'risk early death'

Women who stop taking tamoxifen tablets to prevent breast cancer returning before the end of the recommended 5 years risk an earlier death, according to research.

A study carried out on nearly 3,400 women in Tayside, Scotland, found that only half who had been given tamoxifen, or one of a class of newer antihormone drugs called aromatase inhibitors, after breast cancer treatment were still taking the pills at the end of 5 years. Some had stopped; others reduced the dose. Those who had given up after three years were 3 times more likely to die of breast cancer, during the follow-up period of the study, than those who took the pills for 80% of the time for all 5 years.

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