logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Gynecology Site

BellaOnline's Gynecology Editor

g

Medications to Prevent Breast Cancer


All women and some men are at risk of developing breast cancer. There isnít a single factor that guarantees the development of breast cancer but some are stronger than others. In addition the factors can have a cumulative effect. There are medications available to prevent breast cancer but these should only be prescribed for women with specific factors. The side effects and potential for other problems prohibits the use of these medications in women at average or slightly higher than average risk.

Women who should consider using these endocrine therapies are those who fall into the high risk categories. Women with known genetic mutations that lead to breast cancer who have not undergone a prophylactic mastectomy are clearly candidates for this therapy. The most commonly recognized mutations are BRCA1 and BRCA2. Women who have been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and those with atypical hyperplasia especially over the age of 35. Women ages 35-59 who have a calculated 5 year breast cancer risk of 1.66% should be counseled on this option for prevention. Finally all women over the age of 60 should be considered.

Selective estrogen receptor modulators were the first to be widely used. The most commonly used are Tamoxifen and Raloxifene. They work by blocking estrogen receptors in the breast preventing the proliferative effect of estrogen on this tissue. In other tissues they may act as receptor activators, simulating estrogen thereby producing estrogen like effects. The other type of medication is aromatase inhibitors which are relatively new and act by decreasing the circulating levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women.

Tamoxifen is the most commonly used medication to prevent primary and recurrent breast cancer. It decreases the risk of developing cancer by 50%. It has anti-estrogen effects in the breast but agonistic effects in the uterus and other tissues. Women who take this medication have a higher risk of developing endometrial cancer and should be monitored appropriately. Women who take this medication also have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism such as a deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and stroke.

Raloxifene was initially approved for the prevention of osteoporosis because of its agonist effects on the bone helping to maintain density. Like Tamoxifen it has an antagonist effect on the breast reducing the incidence of invasive breast cancer by 72% at 4 years and 66% by 8 years. The major bothersome side effects are hot flashes and leg cramps. There is also an increased risk of venous thromboembolism.

The aromatase inhibitors include Letrozole, Anastrazole and Exemestane. They block an enzyme which normally functions to convert precursors to estrogens. This therapy is effective in postmenopausal women, lowering the circulating levels of estrogen. In women who are still menstruating there is an opposite effect and therefore this is not recommended for breast cancer treatment or prevention in premenopausal women. The side effects are therefore the typical low estrogen ones such as hot flashes, genital dryness, arthralgia and low bone density. The risk of venous thromboembolism and endometrial cancer is not increased.

Continued research has provided revolutionary therapies for the treatment of breast cancer improving the survival rate dramatically over the past decade. This is excellent news for the 11% of women who will develop breast cancer. Prevention however is still the ideal since no one should have to go through the anxiety, pain and fear associated with a diagnosis of breast cancer. You should see your gynecologist regularly and know your family history. Your doctor can help you asses your risk of breast cancer and direct you to the appropriate provider so you can get the care you deserve.
I hope this article has provided you with information that will help you make wise choices, so you may:

Live healthy, live well and live long!
Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to Twitter Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to Facebook Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to MySpace Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to Del.icio.us Digg Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to Yahoo My Web Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to Google Bookmarks Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to Stumbleupon Add Medications+to+Prevent+Breast+Cancer to Reddit




Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer Prevention
Evaluating Your Breast
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Gynecology Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Dr. Denise Howard. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Dr. Denise Howard. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dr. Denise Howard for details.

g


g features
Risks of Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy in Gynecology

Understanding Postsurgical Care

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor