Many women who are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer are not aware of their risk. If you are at an increased risk, a pharmacologic preventive therapy (chemoprevention) is a consideration you should discuss with your health care provider. It has been reported that the agents used can reduce the risk by 50%.
The Gail Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool is one of the models that has been developed to quantify a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. By answering a series of questions about lifestyle, obstetric and gynecological history, and family history, a 5 year and lifetime risk can be calculated. If there is a moderate to high risk, lifestyle and pharmacologic interventions should be considered.
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and Raloxifene (Evista) are two agents that may be discussed to help in the reduction in breast cancer. There are risks and benefits to both medications, which need to be considered.