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
“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
National Cancer Institute
Your Disease Risk