Scientists from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, have discovered that mammograms can be used to determine the efficacy of tamoxifen, a drug used for the treatment of breast cancer. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Mammograms are special X-rays of breasts and show underlying tumors. They are advised to women having symptoms of breast carcinomas or those who are the risk of developing breast cancer. They are routinely ordered in clinical practice whenever a woman presents with a lump in her breast.
AdvertisementThe experts said that mammograms, if done at an initial stage of treatment, are able to estimate the efficacy of tamoxifen.
About 1,000 postmenopausal females with breast cancer were enrolled for the purpose of study.
According to the researchers, about 50 percent of the volunteers had taken tamoxifen. The volunteers continued taking the drug and this confirmed the relationship between tamoxifen and decline in breast density and reduction in the mortality rate.
The study has shown that the administration of tamoxifen resulted in a decline of 20 percent in the breast density and decreased the cancer death risk to 50 percent over a span of 15 years.
The scientists said, "What is needed is accurate measurement of mammographic density, which isn't currently routine."
The effectiveness of a drug can be traced by mammogram and this helps the doctor in prescribing other drugs for further treatment.