Thursday, October 29, 2015

Practical Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer: Day 9 - If High Risk: Consider Risk-Reducing Medications


It's the final day in our nine day series highlighting key steps and practical tips that can help women lower their risk of breast cancer. Previous days.
_ _ _ _
If High Risk: Consider Risk-Reducing Medications
Although not commonly thought of as a “healthy behavior,” taking prescription risk-reducing medications – such as, tamoxifen, raloxifene, and possibly exemestane – can significantly lower the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. They can also have important side effects, so they aren’t right for everyone.

“High risk” is specifically defined as a woman with a five-year risk of breast cancer of 1.67 percent or higher, typically calculated by the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. If you think you’re at high risk, either after estimating your risk or for some other reason, it’s important to talk to a doctor. Together, you can decide if risk-reducing medication or other steps to lower or manage your risk may be right for you.

Tips and Tricks – Tamoxifen and Raloxifine

Talk to a doctor about your risk and your options. Many women who feel they’re at high risk are likely not. And some who feel they aren’t, likely are. So it’s important to talk to a doctor or other qualified health professional about your risk of breast cancer. If you are at high risk, together you can talk about your options for managing that risk and decide which option is likely best for you.

Review the possible benefits and risks of risk-reducing medication. For many high-risk women, tamoxifen, raloxifene, and possibly exemestane are good choices for managing their risk. Though each does have potential side effects, these can be dramatically offset by their ability to cut the risk of breast cancer in half. Talk to a doctor about how these might balance out for you. A huge percentage of women in the United States who stand to benefit greatly from risk-reducing medications choose not to take them – and not always for accurate reasons (more).


Next Steps – Tamoxifen and Raloxifene

American Cancer Society
http://goo.gl/dyHRbS

National Cancer Institute
http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool

Your Disease Risk
http://yourdiseaserisk.wustl.edu

No comments:

Post a Comment