Pharmacy and Wellness Review


Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer in women, and one in eight women will develop breast cancer within their Iifetimes. Unfortunately, the strongest risk factors for breast cancer (i.e. age, family history, hormonal factors) are not easily modified. There is some evidence that chemopreventative drugs may be able to prevent breast cancer in high-risk patients. Tamoxifen and raloxifene have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women but may be associated with several serious adverse events. Clinical trials are currently in progress to determine if aromatase inhibitors are a viable alternative for breast cancer prevention, as they may be considered effective in the early treatment of breast cancer. For patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy may be an option. This article discusses the risks and benefits of available treatment options for breast cancer prevention in high-risk patients.



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