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USPSTF Updates Guidelines on Using Medications to Prevent Breast Cancer — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
September 24, 2013

USPSTF Updates Guidelines on Using Medications to Prevent Breast Cancer

By Amy Orciari Herman

Medications such as tamoxifen and raloxifene should not be used routinely to lower risk for primary breast cancer in women not at increased risk, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has reaffirmed in an update to its 2002 guideline.

In addition, the task force has strengthened its recommendation for women at increased breast cancer risk: Not only should providers "engage in shared, informed decision-making" with these women about risk-reducing medications, but they should also offer to prescribe tamoxifen or raloxifene for those at low risk for adverse drug effects. The USPSTF says it found "adequate evidence" that drug treatment can significantly lower the risk for estrogen-receptor–positive breast cancer in high-risk, postmenopausal women — particularly those with an estimated 5-year risk of 3% or greater.

The updated recommendation statement appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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