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Milken Institute School of Public Health
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Events > Designer Estrogens

Designer Estrogens: What is Their Role in Women's Health?
June 25, 1998

Menopausal women face increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis due to the lack of estrogen in their bodies.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMS) mimic estrogen in some respects. Dr. Preston Sacks discussed one SERM, raloxifene, in particular. Raloxifene is currently approved by the FDA for osteoporosis prevention. Without several more years to study the effects, it is unknown whether raloxifene, like other methods of hormone replacement therapy, will pose an increased risk for breast cancer or like other SERMS, such as tamoxifen, may be used to treat and sometimes prevent breast cancer.  

Sacks warned that while "preliminary data is positive . . . it would be unwise to suggest that [raloxifene] does in fact reduce breast cancer. . . Two years of data is not enough to determine the long-term effect."

Speaker: Preston C. Sacks, MD, FACOG, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Columbia Hospital for Women

***Since 1998, there have been many advances in research of hormone replacement therapy. As Dr. Sacks noted, two years are not enough. Please visit The U.S. Food & Drug Administration Office of Women's Health menopause page for more information.

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