Breast Cancer Study

One in 11 women will, at some point in her life, find out she has breast cancer. As cancer researchers work to find a cure, women are stepping up to take part in a medical study. Now more women are needed to take the next step in the fight to save lives.

Mrs Merz is getting her last checkup as part of a breast cancer study. She got involved seven years ago. She doesn’t have breast cancer, but she’s at high risk since her mother died from it.

When she heard about a study to test tamoxifen, she admits she hesitated but signed up to help not only herself, but her family as well. “My nieces were delighted, because they would like cancer to be over with by the time they become possible risks,” she said.

The nationwide study called the STAR Trial which tests tamoxifen against another drug, raloxifene.

Tamoxifen has some side effects such as headaches, weight gain or loss, or blood clots. It can also trigger early menopause or cause endometrial cancer. Risks of raloxifene are similar, but it is not shown to cause endometrial cancer.

Both raloxifene and tamoxifen were being tested head to head to see which drug prevents cancer better with less toxicity.

Mrs Merz remains cancer-free and keeps a healthy lifestyle. She encourages others at high risk to get involved. “Especially if they’re thinking of other people in their lives and how breast cancer can affect other people in their lives,” she says, “I think it’s an easy decision.”

Twenty-two thousand women are needed for this new study, which will last five years.

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