Ann's NOTE: This information applies to healthy women at 'high'risk of breast cancer, as well as those with DCIS!
During the recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
(ASCO), the FDA presented new information on an association between use of
tamoxifen and subsequent development of uterine sarcoma.
Uterine Sarcoma, as defined by The Cancer Dictionary, is an extremely rare
type of Endometrial Cancer. It accounts for between 1 and 5% of all
endometrial (uterine) cancers. Symptoms include bleeding after menopause or
bleeding that is not part of menstruation.
Information collected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicates
that women who have used tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment or prevention
have an increased risk of developing uterine sarcoma.
Review of all the
NSABP clinical trials using tamoxifen confirmed an increased risk of this
In the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial, there are about 2 cases
per 10,000 women taking tamoxifen each year. Research to date indicates that
uterine sarcomas are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages than
endometrial cancers, and may therefore be harder to control and more
life-threatening than endometrial cancer.
Subsequently, the CIS is contacting your organization to inform you and your
constituents of this new information. Also, as it is the CIS mission to
provide the most up-to-date and accurate cancer information, several Cancer
Facts Sheets have been updated to reflect this new information.
Cancer Facts Sheets that have been changed are listed:
- Chemoprevention - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/4_2.htm
- Tamoxifen: Questions and Answers - (English and Spanish versions)
English version - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/7_16.htm
Spanish version - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/7_16s.htm
- The Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR): Questions and Answers -
(English and Spanish versions)
English version - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/4_19.htm
Spanish version - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/4_19s.htm
- Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers (English and
English version - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/7_20.htm
Spanish version - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/7_20s.htm
- Breast Cancer Prevention Studies - http://cis.nci.nih.gov/fact/4_18.htm
All NCI Fact sheets can be obtain by visiting www.cancer.gov or calling the
Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER telephone number.
New York Times, 6/28/02
Helen Schiff, NYC-based advocate
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