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.
The experts said that
mammograms, if done at an initial stage of treatment, are able to estimate the
efficacy of tamoxifen.
postmenopausal females with breast cancer were enrolled for the purpose of
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
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
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.