Evista effective? Weight gain normal?

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Question from RMoore: My hormonal therapy drug is Evista because I can't, for medical reasons, take any other med. Do you think Evista is as effective as some of the other drugs for preventing a return of breast cancer? Is weight gain on Evista normal? Thank you.
Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. Evista, otherwise known as raloxifene, is not approved for the treatment of breast cancer. I don't know if you are taking this medication for prevention or treatment of breast cancer, but I suggest you either discuss it with your doctor or seek another opinion if it is being given for treatment of breast cancer. Evista was tested in the recent STAR trial for prevention of breast cancer in high risk postmenopausal women. It was shown in the prevention setting to be equally effective as tamoxifen in preventing invasive breast cancer, but less effective in precancerous changes in the breast. Currently Evista is pending FDA approval for breast cancer prevention. However, it has not ever been tested or shown effective in the treatment of breast cancer. It is not as effective as the standard therapy that would be used for endocrine treatment, which includes tamoxifen and the aromatase inhibitors.

Editor's Note: In September 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using Evista to reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk. The FDA also approved using Evista to reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Managing Ongoing Medications featured Patricia Ganz, M.D. and moderator Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answering your questions about staying on track with breast cancer medications you have to take on a regular basis.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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