Narrator: This is Science Today. An estrogen substitute used to prevent osteoporosis has been found to dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Dr. Steven Cummings, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco, led a three-year study of the estrogen substitute called raloxifene and found women over sixty-five taking this drug had a seventy percent lower risk of invasive breast cancer.
Cummings: In fact, the most common cause of breast cancer in women over the age of sixty-five is something called estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. These are breast cancers that are stimulated by estrogen and raloxifene reduced the risk of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer by eighty-seven percent.
Narrator: Still, Cummings says it's too soon for women to start taking raloxifene in droves to prevent breast cancer.
Cummings: Because the prevention of breast cancer is something that women need to do for decades, not just for a few years. So first we need to know how well these work for more than five years.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.