Panel: women at average risk for breast cancer should not take risk reduction medications

4:14 PM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has updated its recommendations for women at low or average risk for breast cancer. 

The recommendations, published in the September 24th issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, say only women at high risk for breast cancer should take tamoxifen or raloxifene. 

Tamoxifen and raloxifene reduce invasive breast cancer by limiting the effects of estrogen on the breast tissue. 

The Task Force released its recommendations based on studies published through 2012. 

Trials showed that tamoxifen was more effective than raloxifene in reducing breast cancer, but more likely to cause cancer of the uterus, cataracts and blood clots. 

For women at high risk for breast cancer, the benefits of the medicines can still outweigh the potential dangers.

Women are at high risk if they have a strong family history of breast cancer, a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene and past radiation to the chest, according to the Susan G. Komen foundation. 


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